10 January 2012 | theindustry
Very well made. A modern film reminiscent of the classics.
It is well understood from the first few scenes that the typical cliché of both war films and animal dramas will stain Spielberg's canvas, yet the film pushes forward, earning well-deserved praise. Quite a few scenes are captivating to say the least; as is the scene with the horse, Joey, forging through heavily barb-wired no man's land.
'War Horse' surely reminisces the older WW1 films, and epic war films in general, such as Lawrence of Arabia, that drag on forever, yet do not fail to keep you enthralled with their stunning visuals and top-notch acting. Jeremy Irvine's performance was acceptable for an actor fairly new to the game, as were the performances of the gamut of child actors in the film, but honorable mentions must go to Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, and Peter Mullan. The production did a wonderful job to give the horse Joey a deeper personified image, as if he were an actor. The same goes for the other horses in the film, who seem to converse amongst each other and reveal a chemistry shared between animal and animal, as well as animal and man. A wonderful job on the whole. Certainly Spielberg's finest work in recent months (yes, I don't think cowboys and aliens should ever mix).
For what its worth, this picture will move you deeply, as it has done to many. 'War Horse' inspires anti-war sentiments, as Joey's endeavors help him sympathize with men on both sides of the trenches, and ultimately reminds us of the beauty of Earths beasts. Each one has its own character that strikes a chord with the audience, and this is undeniable.