War Horse (2011)
Peter Mullan (Braveheart, 1995)
Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, 1996)
David Thewlis (Timeline, 2003)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Amazing Grace, 2006)
Patrick Kennedy (Atonement, 2007)
Pat Laffan (Leap Year, 2010)
I think the only bad thing I can say about War Horse is that it's terribly self-aware. Spielberg can tug on heartstrings like Celtic Woman can wail on a lap-harp. I would be interested in a side-by-side comparison to determine exactly how closely the plot of this movie parallels E.T..
Apart from that it was lovely. Very sentimental. Very feel-goody. I know this was a play for a while, and I guess a book before that. I don't really know about either of those but some scenes looked and felt very theatrical. Especially that very moving scene where the English guy and the German guy walk out into no-man's land to cut the horse out of the barbed wire. When I saw that scene I imagined it on a stage. I could see it. The dialogue was very stage-like as well, and for that reason it felt like the continuity of style was a little disjointed. Is this a movie or a stage production? Make up your mind, everyone.
Here's the thing about horses, though. Some people get it, and some people don't. So when I am talking to people and they ask me what I thought of War Horse, I just have to answer with a question, "Well, did you like Black Beauty?" Because it's essentially the same, and you either love it or you don't.