Tagline: Separated By War. Tested By Battle. Bound By Friendship.
It’s a busy week for Steven Spielberg, who has two movies in competition with each other. War Horse is his adaptation of the celebrated play, which has had them gripped both in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway. The world truly is a small place.
Set in rural England and Europe during World War I, War Horse is the story of the incredible friendship between a horse named Joey and the young man (Jeremy Irvine) called Albert, who is able to both tame and train him. Circumstances inevitably dictate that they must go their separate ways and Spielberg focuses on Joey’s narrative, as he changes and inspires the lives of those he meets. And he’s an equal opportunity kind of creature: he doesn’t mind if he comes into contact with British cavalry, German soldiers, or even a French farmer and his granddaughter.
Sounds like the classic kind of Spielbergian story, which is why it’s slightly surprising that it didn’t fare particularly well with the Golden Globes voters. Though it was nominated for Best Drama, Spielberg missed out on Best Director, which presumably lessens his chances come the Oscars. But positive reviews can only help, so he’ll be encouraged by the Daily Telegraph hailing War Horse as “genuine in its emotion, unflinching in its reality, epic in its grandiosity, effective in its performances, and imaginative in its storytelling.” And with the film coming out on Christmas Day, it sounds like a present worth unwrapping.
NewsFeed’s Flicks Pick: All the big Christmas releases are adaptations of some sort: we imagine the young and big kids will plump for Spielberg, and the couples may choose Crowe, which leaves Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo as the pick.