Movie Review: War Horse

I remember back around Christmas when this movie came out that the Hubs, my mom, and I were all at the house watching something on TV and we saw a commercial for this movie.  I knew I wanted to see it then.  I’m a HUGE animal lover if you haven’t figured that out by now.  You can basically count on me to go see any movie about animals.  Put something with a tail in there and I’m there! 

If you haven’t seen it, War Horse is the story of a boy and his horse set during WWI.  The boy, Albert Narracott (played by Jeremy Irvine),  his father, Ted Narracott (played by Peter Mullan), and their mom, Rose Narracott (played by Emily Watson)  all live on a farm in England.  It’s not their farm, however.  They’re renting it from a wealthy man (who is a bit of a stuck up snob).  Ted Narracott goes into town one day to purchase a working horse (think draft horses such as Clydesdales) and instead comes home with a beauty of a Thoroughbred.  Why you ask?  Because he’s not the brightest bulb in the box.  See, his landlord wanted the same horse, so he started bidding against him out of spite.  How dumb can one man possibly be?  We find out later that he’s a raging alcoholic but at the time, we don’t know that and he doesn’t appear to be particularly inebriated.  Ted brings the horse home and over the course of the next few months the horse (whose name is Joey) and Albert become inseparable.  Then, WWI strikes right at the same time that the crop the Narracott family is depending on is ruined in a storm.  Ted sells Joey to a member of the English Calvary.  Needless today this betrayal doesn’t do wonderful things for Ted & Albert’s relationship.  The story picks up from there to show Joey’s life during the war.  Through various sets of circumstances he ends up with several different people including two German brothers trying to escape the war, a granddaughter and grandfather living in occupied France and the German military. 

All in all I was very pleased with the movie.  I thought it was a great depiction of life during WWI without being gruesome.  In addition, it was rather artsy instead of just being about the action (Transformers anyone?).  It is a little hard to watch at times if you’re an animal lover.  There are some scenes that just hurt my soul.  I realize no animals were actually hurt during the filming of the movie and whatnot but the fact is, it’s probably very realistic to how the animals were treated back then… and that makes my heart hurt.  Funnily enough, the Hubs (who’s a totally softie) started tearing up at the end but I didn’t.  I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Have you seen this movie?  What’d you think?  What’s your favorite animal movie?  I think mine would have to be White Fang.

Side note:  Emily Watson is great in this movie.  I think she’s an outstanding actress.  I loved her in Red Dragon.  The greatest line in War Horse is hers as well… “I might hate you more, but I’ll never love you less.”

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