War Horse

“I forgot one very important comment on my Darkest Hour write up: Faraday cage FTW!!

Anyhoo, I took my Mom’s saying “”You’re not gonna go to the movies today”” on Thursday as my opportunity to plan another escape with a “”I was thinking maybe tomorrow”” so that then it was on her radar and we’d plan the day accordingly. My priority algorithm sorted my must movies by convenience of seeing them in Boston. I’d already knocked out the two that I’d have to “”travel”” to (compared to a short walk away), so next up I thought I’d get the longer one since staying up too late on a school night really isn’t as fun as you’d think. That meant War Horse.

Again, big with the skepticism going in. Being into the theatre scene, I’d heard a lotta chatter about the stage show. Most of it agreed that for the most part, the play itself was kinda mediocre. What made it worthwhile was the puppetry for the horses. Take the puppets away and you got what’s likely to be a mediocre movie. Buuuuut then you throw Steven Spielberg into the mix and all bets are off.

Watching the movie, I couldnt possibly see how it had fit onto stage. I later learned that there was a source book as well, and suddenly the scope made much more sense. But yeah, watching a movie based on a play and not being able to see how it worked as a play is usually a good sign. Otherwise, you get something that’s kinda stiff or even lifeless. In a way, it’s like you still see the edge of the stage and they dont quite fill it out to fit the screen. War Horse did not have that issue.

I very much enjoyed it, but it did feel a lot like your typical epic Oscar bait film. The feel was a little too perfect and everything wrapped up a little too neatly. That said, it was still beautifully done. Definitely felt a strong emotional connection towards the end. What surprised me story wise was also something I really loved, which was how the story shifted focus to different characters as the horse Joey made his journey thru the war. You got to see players on both sides and get to know them. I loved each new character even more than the one before.

The pony and Jeremy Irvine were both the heart and soul of the movie. You usually had at least one of them on screen at a time, and I couldnt take my eyes off either. The two of them together was just beautiful. The other one who had my rapt attention was Tom “”Loki”” Hiddleston, as the officer who first purchases Joey and takes him into the war. So much more compassion than you typically see for his type of character, and he set such a great tone for the way the pony would be passed along throughout his journey.

Prolly your best bet for that big holiday family movie this year. Still dont know how I feel about it in the Oscar race. Seems too obvious a choice, without anything really new being brought in. But I suppose we’ll have a more in depth conversation on the subject in the coming weeks.

War Horse – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n

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