War Horse (2011)

Sometimes I think I’m far too snobby of a film critic, and sometimes I think the film critics that are paid to do their jobs have taken complete leave of their senses.  There’s no other way to describe it but that.  I was completely aghast at the fact that The Tree of Life received a Best Picture nomination last year (not to mention the inexplicable nomination of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), and now there’s another film that I have to add to that category.  It infuriates me no end that those two previously mentioned movies and this one, War Horse, received Best Picture nominations when the two movies that I viewed as the actual best movies of the year – Drive and Warrior – received none.  In the long run, it doesn’t matter, as greatness tends to shine and many Best Picture winners fade from memory, while movies that went without a nomination become timeless.  Fight ClubThe Big LebowskiThe Dark KnightThe Princess Bride, these are all movies that didn’t receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, so in summation, fuck the Oscars.

Now this movie, THIS MOVIE.  Ugh.  It’s like Crash but the horse is the thing that connects everyone together and oh my goodness, it made me whimper “I don’t careeeee” numerous times.  I have no idea what happened to Steven Spielberg, but this movie was nothing like what he usually brings to the table.  It felt hollow, like it was nothing more than awards show fodder.  From the opening score I felt like turning it off because it was just screaming at me how out of touch Spielberg is with modern day film-making.

Apparently it was based off of some children’s novel of the same name, written by Michael Morpurgo and adapted for the screen by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis.  Having never read the book, I have no idea how it may differ, but reading a book tends to take a longer time than viewing a movie, building up your emotional investment in characters.  I have no idea what cuts were made, what was filmed or whatever, but at 146 minutes it had already had a bloated running time.  In that time, I developed no emotional investment in any of the characters, except maybe the horse who I just wanted to run away from these terrible people.  The horse ends up being owned/taken care of by several people, and our time with all these people is so brief that I didn’t care what was going to happen to them.

I don’t even want to waste more time talking about how much I disliked War Horse.  I didn’t like it, and while some aspects of it were well done, some acting alright, it was boring and heartless.  Recommendation to avoid.

1 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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