Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Neils Arestrup, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Celine Buckens, Toby Kebbel, David Cross, and many more...
Directed by: Steven Spieldberg Screenplay by: Lee Hall and Richard Curtis Based on the Book by: Michael Morpurgo Original Music by: John Williams Cinematography by: Janusz Kamiski
Premise: After a young man, Albert, and a young horse, Joey, are brought together and bond, the two are separated with the coming of World War I. But not before Albert vows to somehow meet again someday. (PG-13)
Review: Black Beauty meets The Red Violin! I don't know what it was about the previews, but I eagerly awaited the coming of this film. Hubby had no interest, but ended up going with me and loved it.
Older audiences will be reminded of great classics like My Friend Flicka, Black Beauty, and Old Yeller. And because the film follows not only Joey's adventure but Albert's father's regiment flag, as well as the encapsulated stories of those Joey meets, the film was very reminiscent of the captivating film the Red Violin.
War Horse is a family friendly movie. Spieldberg went out of his way to hide moments of death to anyone the viewers might have become vested in, so though they die, it shouldn't traumatize the kids. There are still some scenes of violence, but very few, and the blood is kept to a minimum. Do take a hanky just in case. Some will need it. (I did!)
The film is a coming of age tale showing the courage of animals and people, of hope and loyalty. Between the goose, Joey, and the major's black horse, the animals steal the show. The acting was also superb from everyone present. Some of the best scenes were those without dialogue - where a look or a simple gesture conveyed volumes. Very nicely done.
The locations are fabulous. The sets for the trench warfare and no man's land will make you feel like you are there. Some truly majestic and sweeping camera work.
Definitely worth a watch, with or without the kids.
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)