DreamWorks has avoided the festival circuit with Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse and taken the movie straight to the people. Some of the first screenings for the movie are taking place away from big metro areas in the US, and the first reactions are in.
What it comes down to is “War Horse” is as flawless a film as we’ve ever seen from the director. Seeing something as brutal, terrible, and human as war through the innocent eyes of a noble horse is an ambitious form of storytelling, and yet it completely comes off as honest and authentic. I cried. I cheered. I felt like little more than a marionette, controlled in body and soul. It’s odd. This isn’t the work of the Spielberg we’ve come to know in the last two decades. This is something new. Back to basics, as it were. This is the Spielberg we had from the 70?s to the 90?s: powerful, gutsy, honest, and effective.
Those comments, incidentally, echo some of the reactions people have had to Tintin, in the way that working in mocap seems to have allowed Spielberg to indulge in a mixture of adventurous spirit and back to basics filmmaking.
And one IMDB user gushes:
This was a masterpiece. This should be one of the top 2-3 during Oscar season. All the hype we were hoping for was well-deserved. Outside of the first 30 minutes being a tad “eh,” the rest of the film is the best I’ve seen of Spielberg in years. Some of the greatest scenes I’ve seen in his career. I’m going to go as far as to say that it’s my second favorite Spielberg film after “Schindler’s List.”