Tuesday, February 7, 2012

War Horse

This is the Best Picture nominee that I was least motivated to see. I found some motivation, mainly a good showtime for a week night viewing, and I went while I had the resolve. War movies are just not for me. I love history but I am too faint of heart for accurate portrayals of war. I was not even very invested in the characters and I cried throughout the movie. Thank goodness it is rated PG-13. If it was rated R I do not think I could take it. The trench warfare came later in the film than I would have thought but it was wrenching. I have never seen Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan for this very reason. Shocking as it may be that a movie and history lover like me has not, but true. War Horse is so blatantly made to tug at the viewers heart strings and it was forcefully made to seem epic and old fashioned. These are precisely the reasons why I was not interested in this movie. I went in with a positive attitude, adult juice box in purse, with the hope that my love of history would see me through to enjoying it.
 For a movie named War Horse, it took almost an hour to get to the war part. The first act dealt with how the horse came to be in the lives of the main character Albert. The film is very deserving of its nomination for Best Cinematography. The beautiful landscapes are captured with almost surreal angles of light. The score is from John William and is not surprisingly nominated for Best Original Score. Newcomer Jeremy Irvine is very good in the role of Albert. The cast does not have many stars though Albert's mother Rose is portrayed by Emily Watson. As the first World War begins the Captain that purchases the horse for the war effort looked very familiar -- Tom Hiddleston also appears in Midnight in Paris as F Scott Fitzgerald.

I am glad to check off the six nominations War Horse received on my viewing ballot and it certainly was better than Tree of Life.

And on DVD...
I am to the point where I am watching movies that may have only one nomination. Warrior was marketed to seem like this year's The Fighter. Taking place in the world of MMA and starring Joel Edgerston and Tom Hardy, that is an unfair comparison. The movie seemed to be trying too hard to be of dramatic caliber and had Nick Nolte not been nominated for Best Supporting Actor, I would not have seen it. I was happily surprised to have enjoyed the last act of the movie and the story of the two brothers.
Jane Eyre The costume design of the most recent adaption of the classic piece of Brontë literature has been nominated. Though I have not read the book so I can not comment on how faithful the version is to the original. Sometimes it is more enjoyable to watch a movie based on a book, or certainly a revered piece of literature, when you do not know the story well. Less comparing and more watching. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender do an excellent job in their portrayals of Jane and Rochester. The score is haunting and fitting of the story.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed War Horse. The story was quite emotionally manipulative, but the outstanding cinematography and music more than make up for it. I loved it.

    I was very fond of Jane Eyre, as well. Like you, I've never read the book, but I'm very fond of the 1996 film and the story itself. After seeing this most recent adaptation, I've decided to read the book this summer.