INSPIRED – The amazing Steven Spielberg has done it again! Making a terrific film that not only works on a high artistic level, but has that elusive golden Spielbergian touch of mass appeal.
War Horse wisely scheduled its release for Christmas day – and what a present it is.
Co-written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis from the Michael Morpurgo novel, and shot by the one and only Janusz Kaminski, War Horse opens with a rural British farmer (Peter Mullan) overpaying for a thoroughbred at a town auction when he really needed a plow horse. He brings the beast home and quickly gets an earful from his more practical wife (Emily Watson). In steps their fresh scrubbed and eager to please son, ‘Albert’ (Jeremy Irvine). ‘Albert’ immediately falls for the horse they name ‘Joey,’ and promises to train it to plow and soften the rugged land.
The bonding begins, and because we are in the land of Spielberg, we know it will be tested – and tested – and tested again.
The adventure goes full throttle once Great Britain gets dragged into the war (WWI) and the father decides to get his money back by selling the horse to a local officer heading to the front.
The young officer, played by break through star Tom Hiddleston, promises to return safely from the war and deliver the horse back to the boy. Although his earnest intentions are crystal clear in his eyes, we know this will be a difficult promise to keep.
What follows is a wonderfully woven tale of just how ‘Albert’ will get his trusty steed back. The type of tale that Spielberg tells better than anyone in the history of filmmaking, short of maybe Frank Capra.
There is so much to admire about War Horse. I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen. The bigger the better. I actually sat in the front row of a sold out theatre on Christmas day with my two youngest sons. We were mesmerized.
It’s a big film with a big heart and a very simple story. Honesty, integrity, heroics, and virtue all on display.