Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

War Horse- 2011

War Horse- Movie Poster
The Squire and I just went to see War Horse last night. Absolutely worth seeing, I would say this one is an instant classic. It would be good to take pre-teens and teenagers to, but the second half of the film is too intense for young ones.

It is essentially a war movie (an anti-war movie to be specific), but it has a wonderful story about the journey of the horse Joey from the gorgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon in the west country of England to the horrors of the trenches in France in WWI.

Jeremy Irvine as Albert Narracott in War Horse
Young Jeremy Irvine is absolutely transfixing as Albert Narracott, the boy who trains and loves the gorgeous thoroughbred his father buys at auction instead of a good working plough horse (Oops-seemed like a good idea at the time).

Peter Mullan and Emily Watson as Albert's parents in War Horse

Emily Watson (one of my fave actors) is wonderful as the pissed off mother Rose Narracott who rightly takes a strip off her alcoholic husband Ned (played brilliantly by Peter Mullan), but stands by him and loves him through everything.  Awww!

Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Kennedy and Tom Hiddleston in War Horse
Joey the horse is unfortunately not able to be kept at the farm after war is declared and so is sold to a Cavalry officer Captain Nicholls (played by the ever wonderful Tom Hiddleston). Pull out your tissues at this point in the film.

Grandfather and Emilie with Joey and friend in War Horse
Not only does Joey make an equine friend (Topthorne, the black horse) but the two horses go from the Germans, to a French girl and her grandfather, back to the Germans and then a very dramatic scene at the front where Joey ends up in no man's land, between the English and German trenches. The no man's land scene is the best scene in the entire film, and you can see the hand of both Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and Richard Curtis (Four Weddings, Love Actually) in the wonderful writing.

Joey and Albert in the beautiful Devon countryside in War Horse
I was sobbing at parts of this film, more because I was thinking of my two great-uncles who died in the Great War (they never thought there would be another), one of whom was born in Devonshire. So  you may not find it as much of a weeper as I did, but still I would not have missed it for anything.

So I give this one two hooves up!


  1. I am so looking forward to this movie. My grandfather was in the cavalry in WWI, and I understand that his job was looking after the horses. I never met him, but would've loved to hear his stories.

    Wonderful review--I know I will cry buckets. The movie looks visually fantastic as well.

  2. I want to see this movie and I will definitely keep the tissues handy as I am a cryer.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. It looks beautiful, and I trust your judgement completely. However, I fear this one is simply going to be too tragic for me to watch.

  4. Nice! I like the personal touch. Hope to see this soon. Do you think the Downtoners at war came across Joey at the front? By the way, my grandfather was on the opposite side of those battle lines in WWI - and then had to escape Germany before WWII because he was Jewish.

  5. I really want to see this one. I am intrigued by this time period. Plus, my daughter rode for years and years. Although I don't ride, I love horses.

  6. Oh my gosh, so many great comments on War Horse!

    @JaneGS- You will be transfixed if you have a cavalry soldier in your family tree!

    @Sophia Rose- Bring a box of Kleenex and enjoy a great cry!

    @Mom Wald's Place- I don't blame you for skipping this one. I loved it but you have to be prepared and in the mood for a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

    @Carlos- You'll particularly like the scene where the British and German soldier meet in no man's land. Spielberg does an awesome job of not taking sides in his portrayal of the war. The enemy is the war itself. So glad your grandfather was able to get out in time. Both world wars have so many sad stories for all nationalities!

    @ Mary S- The horses are truly characters in this so you and your daughter will love it.

  7. War Horse is epic family enteriment and and one of the most powerful and moving stories of friendship ever told. I love this film and highly recommend it to everyone! :) xx

    1. Glad you liked War Horse too Kate. It is so beautiful, both the story and the scenery!




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