by Jeff Ames Posted: December 14th, 2010
Things are heating up for Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated drama War Horse, starring Emily Watson, David Thewlis and Jeremy Irvine. After a few brief set photos a while back, and that release date fiasco – which bumped War Horse from its initial August 10, 2011 opening to a more awards-savy December 28, 2011 – we are now pleased to unveil the film’s official synopsis, courtesy of DreamWorks.
Okay, so maybe the news isn’t that ground breaking, but at least it’s something. We have long been privy to the film’s synopsis (it is based on a play that was, in turn, adapted from a children’s book after all), but even so, the Beard has seen fit to grant us an “official” rundown of his flick, which adds a few minute (even spoiler-ish) details. Hit the jump for the synopsis and more.
From director Steven Spielberg comes “War Horse,” an epic adventure for audiences of all ages. Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. “War Horse” is one of the great stories of friendship and war—a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is arriving on Broadway next year. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history.
Here’s the synopsis for the book via Amazon:
In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?
I must say I’m a huge fan of all things Spielberg. Unfortunately, the most recent projects we can link him to are Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Hereafter and The Lovely Bones. (Okay, he produced the terrific HBO mini-series The Pacific as well, but cinematically speaking the man’s track record of late has been quite average.) And yet, here we are on the brink of a possible (maybe even monumental) comeback, what with True Grit (which he produced) lingering around the corner; not to mention upcoming a slew of promising new films Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, J.J. Abram’s Super 8, Real Steel and Cowboys and Aliens on the horizon. Add in next Christmas’ The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, War Horse plus his planned adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalyspe and you have yourself an impending return-to-form for The Beard, whose last great film came way back in 2002’s Catch Me If You Can (if you ask me). War Horse in particular looks likely to place him back in the Oscar race, what with its WWI backdrop, and little-horse-that-could storyline. Call it Saving Private Seabiscuit, if you will.
This is shaping up to be a nice drink of water after a long drought indeed.