A young boy's beloved horse is sold to the cavalry during WWI,
prompting an adventure across the front lines of the war.
War Horse (2011)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis
Starring Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson,
Tom Hiddleston, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch,
Niels Arestrup, Toby Kebbell, Robert Emms, Celine Buckens
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and
the stage play by Nick Stafford
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Cinematography,
Best Original Score (John Williams), Best Sound Mixing,
Best Sound Editing, Best Art Direction
The protagonist of War Horse is Joey, a young colt who has an adventure across the battlefields of World War I and manages to outshine every single member of the cast. Leave it to Spielberg to make a movie with a horse as the lead and have it be compelling, honest, and heartwarming from beginning to end. War Horse is an overlooked film, mostly because Spielberg has so many epic classics that his more recent films are lackadaisical in comparison. But I think audiences should revisit this one. We need a good heartwarming story about the bond of friendship, especially during these difficult times.
Joey is a brash horse that is purchased by Ted Narracott (Mullan) on a whim. The horse is trained and befriended by his son Albert (Irvine), who is heartbroken when his father sells the horse to the English cavalry so he can pay the rent for the family farm. Joey is then owned by Captain Nicholls (Hiddleston), who is killed in a battle. Joey is then captured by the Germans, and his story just gets more insane from there. All the while, Albert has enlisted with the hopes of miraculously finding Joey. The various lives that Joey influences along the way all leads to a perfect ending.
War Horse is a long haul, but the story is so sweet and the characters are engaging. You barely feel the runtime. In truth, I didn't think I'd like this one. I thought it was going to be cheesy, insincere, and smarmy. But it's the exact opposite. It's an endearing war film that showcases the very real bond between a human and an animal, and how that bond can strengthen both of them in times when they need it most.