Tuesday, June 13, 2023


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Sports Movie” at the ESPY Awards. It lost to Miracle.

• Best Scene/Moment: The historical beats narrated by David McCullough that play between some scenes.

• Best Song: “Everloving” by Moby.

• Best Merch: A pair of “Seabiscuit Movie Boxing Gloves” worn in the film by Tobey Maguire for $500.00. These look like they’d fall apart the moment you stuck your hand in them. Still, I’d pick them up if I were you.
• Director Check: Seabiscuit was directed by Gary Ross, who began his career as a writer or producer on numerous good movies like Big, Mr. Baseball, Dave, and Trial & Error before making his directorial debut with 1998’s Pleasantville (still one of my blind spots). The film disappointed at the box office but was a critical hit and well-regarded among fans. Seabiscuit was Ross’s follow-up film which re-teamed him with then-current Spider-Man Tobey Maguire. The movie did well financially and critically and earned seven Academy Award nominations, including two for Gary Ross for his roles producing and writing the film. Ross took a long break from directing feature films until 2012’s monster-hit The Hunger Games but didn’t stay on with the popular franchise for its sequels. His most recent directorial efforts were 2016’s largely forgotten Matthew McConaughey vehicle Free State of Jones and the sequel/spin-off Ocean’s 8 in 2018. According to IMDb, a historical action-drama Ross wrote called Desert Warrior (starring Ben Kingsley and Anthony Mackie) is in production and Ross is writing and directing a remake of the James Dean film East of Eden which has Jennifer Lawrence attached as part of the cast.
• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Open Range

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before It: Hulk, Radio, Secondhand Lions

Draft Day or Seabiscuit? Draft Day
• Mall Movie? Nope. This is the type of classy Oscar bait that would play at the fancy theater in town.

• Only in 2003: A drama that never placed higher than #4 at the weekend box office still grossing $120M domestically.

• Scene Stealer: Gary Stevens. He has acted in a few projects but is primarily known for being a Thoroughbred horse racing jockey.

• I Miss: Going to the track to watch and bet on horse racing.
• I Don’t Miss: The Great Depression.

• 2003 Crush: Elizabeth Banks.

• 2023 Crush: Elizabeth Banks.

• What I Thought in 2003: I fell asleep the first time I saw Seabiscuit and asked my girlfriend at the time to go again with me to see it a second time which I also fell asleep during. She wouldn’t go with me a third time, so I went by myself, stayed awake and really enjoyed it. I lived near a racetrack at the time, so Seabiscuit was popular and played at our neighborhood theater for months.

• What I Think in 2023: I was skeptical if Seabiscuit would still work for me in 2023 but it totally does. The performances from the three leads (Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper) are all terrific, the horse racing sequences are exciting, and the movie is beautifully shot by cinematographer John Schwartzman. When it came to classy dramas for adults, DreamWorks really knew what they were doing in the early 2000s.

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