Tonight I saw War Horse, starring Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson.
It's been a long time since I've made it through an endurance test like this. I had a feeling it wouldn't be my cup of tea, and sadly, it wasn't.
Albert (Irvine) is the young son of a drunken farmer who promises his mother, Rose (Watson), that he will train and care for the horse his dad paid too much for at auction. The horse's name is Joey, and he's—of course—beautiful and smart.
By the time Albert and Joey bond, drunken papa has sold the horse to the Army. Though all signs point to the horse being lost/killed in WWI, Albert claims he will see him again. He's not kidding.
Calling them a series of unfortunate events would be a gross understatement. Let's just say, poor Joey goes through hell. In fact, the only scene that got me misty-eyed was the one where the horse tries to escape the human horrors of war only to get completely tangled in barbed wire. This prompts soldiers from both sides of the fight to take a time out from combat and help the poor animal break free. The bit was wonderful and reminded me of another film where soldiers pause in war to share one another's company peacefully during a holiday called Joyeux Noel. But I digress.
Joey gets passed off to several owners during his journey, and his journey (along with ours) is a long one.
The redeeming moments of the film have everything to do with the beautiful cinematography, the excellent score (seldom does Spielberg ever get that wrong) and the acting from the horse. Yes, the horse.
I'll admit to loving the closing shot—something that reminded me of Gone With the Wind, and was most likely intended to.
It's just a shame that the majestic, amber sunset didn't arrive before I got bored.