Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, which has also been turned into an acclaimed stage play, “War Horse” almost seems too easy as piece of awards season bait (okay, maybe not as easy as putting Tom Hanks in a 9/11 drama, but still). The film follows a young man named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his horse, Joey, and how their bond is broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War I. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend. Essentially, a dude goes off to rescue his equine friend, tears ensue. Right?
Well, not quite. While Steven Spielberg could easily phone this material in, we’ll be damned if this latest trailer for “War Horse” that popped up over at Empire, didn’t put a lump in our throat. The director seems to be working at the top of his game, and while many will cynically want to toss this off as “typical” Spielberg, he really hasn’t done this kind of film in about a decade. Yes, he’s back in a familiar wheelhouse, but the scope and scale somehow feels fresh, the cinematography is downright stunning and the story has us suckered. This latest trailer utilizes the same template as the first trailer, focusing more on imagery and mood, but there is a bounty of new footage and scenes and less of the narration that carried the initial spot. All in all it works very well, and there is little doubt that “War Horse” will be a huge Oscar contender.
“War Horse” will open on Christmas Day. Be brave and watch the trailer below.