‘War Horse’ Trailer Teases A Gorgeous World War I Drama

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

War Horse movie teaser trailer War Horse Trailer Teases A Gorgeous World War I Drama

Steven Spielberg is returning with a one-two punch this holiday season. First we’ll get the legendary filmmaker in fantastical adventure mode, with the arrival of his Adventures of Tintin adaptation. Then, just five days later, audiences will be treated to Spielberg’s latest dramatic piece, War Horse.

A new teaser trailer for War Horse does an excellent job of teasing the film’s picturesque imagery of war-torn Europe, as devised by Spielberg’s multiple Oscar-winning director of photography, Janusz Kaminski (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan). But does it also make the movie look too much like Oscar bait for its own good?

War Horse is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo (and the stage play adaptation by Nick Stafford) about a young man named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his beloved pet horse, Joey. The films follows Joey as he is separated from his owner – and subsequently changes the lives of all he encounters during the first World War.

DreamWorks describes War Horse as “an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure.” If nothing else, it’ll certainly be a visually gorgeous drama, as brought to life by another moving score composed by John Williams.

Check out the War Horse teaser trailer below:

This motion picture certainly features more than its fair share of admirable actors and actresses, including Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves), Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement), Tom Hiddleston (Thor), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter series), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), David Kross (The Reader), and Niels Arestrup (A Prophet), among others. Much like next year’s already-an-Oscar-contender, Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic, War Horse certainly won’t be lacking in the acting department.

As mentioned before, the film should look and sound as lovely as one would expect from a Spielberg-directed period drama. The question about the quality of War Horse as an “awards contender” has to do with its (cheesy?) storyline and the writing team of Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), who were responsible for scripting the movie.

Spielberg has yet to release a serious period drama that the majority of moviegoers agree is bad, and War Horse doesn’t look to buck that trend. However, some of his films (see: The Color Purple, Amistad) suffer a bit from having too many of those hokey “Oscar” moments that people often make fun of. As it were, both Curtis and Hall’s previous work has tended to have that too – specifically, those “inspirational” or “moving” scenes that come more as calculated than genuine (think the “Oscar Clip” gag in Wayne’s World).

Of course, it’s too early to tell if War Horse will have a lot of that – and seeing how much the film does have to offer, a few corny moments here and there probably won’t matter that much anyway. In short: This is definitely a movie to keep an eye out for at the end of this year.

War Horse arrives in U.S. theaters on December 28th, 2011.

Source: DreamWorks

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  1. It’s a Steven Spielberg war drama so I’m guessing it will be at least watchable even if sentimentalism bleeds in too profusely.

  2. Another Spielberg take on how war is bad and only those who oppose it are good.

    • Riiiiggghht….Anyway, I think this looks gorgeous and it seems he stayed very close to the novel. Fantastic cast, beautiful locations and a great story. Nobody does this kind of movie like Spielberg. Looking forward to this even more than Tintin. And finally some great and appropriate music by the master himself, John Williams. About time after all that horrible rock music in this summer’s blockbuster trailers.

  3. I like Screen Rant and all, but the editorial snark has been coming across rather strong lately.

    Just sayin’.

    I think the world could use more stories like this. The play won the Tony this year. It’s not cheesy at all. /sigh

  4. Spielberg is hit and miss these days. This trailer seems rather cliche and emotionally manipulative and over the top as expected for a Spielberg film. I’ll wait for Redbox. He still owes me for Indy 4, Transformers 2, A.I., War of the Worlds…

  5. sarah jessica parker as herself

  6. The Play looks so much cooler

  7. My heart sank when I head that Richard Curtis was involved. Here in the UK we don’t do sappy/schmaltzy/sentimental the way Americans do (it’s a running joke here about Hollywood schmaltz happy-ever-after endings, when 9 times out of 10 life’s a pile of crap; Ricky Gervais’ The Office versions, UK vs US illustrate this dichotomy brilliantly.) Just about the only exception to the no-schmaltz rule here in the UK is Curtis, whose films like Four Weddings and Notting Hill have been massive ickfests of yucky sentimentality; really crass and unashamedly aiming for the US market. Double him up with Lee Hall, whose Billy Elliott is similar, as you can see which way the script might head. Then team them up with Spielberg who often has terrible trouble reining in his sentimental side, and this *could* be dreadful. Then again, Peter Mullan (a great writer, actor and director who acts in the film) rates the script, so who knows? Michael Morpurgo, the author of the book on which the play and film are both based, is hoping for “an iconic film about the First World War, perhaps as great as ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ with its overpowering sense of waste.” Let’s hope.

    The trailer itself doesn’t tell us much: looks great but you come away with not much idea about the story arc(s), apart from boy likes horsey, horsey runs a lot and oh yes, there’s a war. I hope the next trailer shows us more of the story. Niels Arestrup’s bit in this trailer was a weird one to choose – if you listen to it he really doesn’t say anything at all. Likewise, the taglines “Far From Home … Across All Borders … Hope Survives” is a bit meh, a bit bland and generic. Is that the best the copywriters could come up with?

    Still, fantastic cinematography – Janusz is a sure-fire Oscar nomination.

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