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War Horse

Separated by war. Tested by battle. Bound by friendship. 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Steven Spielberg 
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis  
An image from War Horse

Steven Spielberg has a reputation for directing feel-good, tear-jerker movies (admit it, watching E.T. still makes you shed a guilty tear) and his latest cinematic offering is no exception. In fact, War Horse has been known to reduce even the most stone-hearted of people into blubbering, emotional wrecks!

Based on the stage play and novel of the same name, this moving story begins in the English country village of Dartmoor, Dorset in 1914. When a struggling farmer purchases a horse at a local auction, his son Albert (Irvine) forms a unique bond with the animal and fondly names him Joey. However, the family farm soon runs into financial difficulty and Joey is sold to the British cavalry following the outbreak of World War One. From then onwards, Joey’s ownership is passed among numerous people across Europe, whilst Albert signs up to the war effort in the hope that he will someday be reunited with his beloved horse – can fate draw them together once again?

Despite being an American production, War Horse displays some of Britain’s best acting talent, with brilliant performances from stars such as Emily Watson, David Thewlis and Benedict Cumberbatch, whilst newcomer Jeremy Irvine makes an impressive acting debut in the lead role. Working with animals is never an easy task, but Irvine delivers real believability in portraying Albert’s gentle, trusting relationship with Joey, a performance which has deservedly won him praise from both critics and audiences alike.

Spielberg is also back on top form and demonstrates countless moments of cinematic genius. The final shots of War Horse are particularly stunning to watch, as a sepia-toned sunset envelops the Dorset countryside and brings the film to its emotional point of closure.

My only piece of advice? Wear a waterproof when going to watch this movie – you’ll need it!

Laura Davenport

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Summer Term (35mm)
2011/2012 Summer Term (35mm)