Thursday, 19 January 2012

War Horse.

This morning Spring seems to have arrived. It is nine degrees, the sun in shining, the snowdrops are fully out and the bird table is inundated with cock blackbirds strutting their stuff while the hens sit on the privet hedge. Dangerous talk I know - snow next week I expect. Still we are hastening through January and that can't be bad.

I have been occupied trying to find hotels in Northumberland. It is a county neither of us know well and we rather fancy a week there in May. We have finally found one in Embleton which looks OK so have booked that. It will give the farmer a chance to see the Chillingham herd of wild cattle we hope.

Last night we went to see War Horse. I had read a lot about the making of the film - about the way the horses were treated and about the fact that all the props (barbed wire etc.) were made of soft rubber. Apparently the horses and their handlers had weeks together before the film started in the making, so that a trust built up.

What did I think of it? Well, I certainly did not need the tissues I took as everyone said it is a tear-jerker. Maybe that was because I had read about the film's making. For young people it would be a marvellous introduction to that absolutely awful First World War. I think Speilberg got it absolutely right - the mud, the rats, the inhumanity, the way the men were treated by the officers on the whole, the little touches of sanity in a world gone mad.

The farmer loved the pre-war part on the farms of the day - the auctions, the ploughing etc. The whole film was very watchable - slightly improbable but then so are most films and it did make for a lovely story. The boy and his horse riding home in the sunset after the end of the war was just a bit too sentimental for my taste but I did read that of the whole film, getting the horse, Joey, to hold his head still at the end and to look as though he was looking into the past, was the most difficulty part to shoot.

I can recommend it - not sure it is Oscar material but it was gripping and the time passed so quickly that we were amazed when the end came.


John Going Gently said...

glad you liked it pat...
I hated it x

Gwil W said...

I love Northumberland. Alnmouth. Coastal path. Cheviots. Farne Islands. Puffins. Holy Island. Grace Darling.

Hope you have fine weather.

J Edgar has just started playing in local cinemas. May go and see.

Elizabeth said...

Don't think I could face seeing animals at war --for some reason it seems beyond inhumane to make them suffer for man's folly. I know, I know, people are more important but even so.
Such a powerful scene in Remarkque's heartbreaking novel All Quiet on the Western Front when Detering (the farmer) is tormented by hearing the cried of injured horses abandoned in No man'sland.
Probably an excellent film (teaching tool) for young people.

Jinksy said...

I have to wait for films to end up on TV, so I won't be watching this any time soon... Must have a certain merit if the time seemed to pass quickly?

Heather said...

I'm not sure I could watch it Pat, even if the barbed wire was made from rubber, but am glad you enjoyed it. Steven Spielberg usually does a good job.
Yorkshire seems ahead of Gloucestershire with regard to Spring. Our cherry blossom sprigs faded and withered in the recent hard frosts and the snowdrops are biding their time. Everything is on it's way though - lovely thought.

Pondside said...

I'm sure we'll be seeing it - thanks for your take on it, Pat.

angryparsnip said...

Sounds like you will have an interesting trip. I don't know this area so will be excited to see your photos.

I can never watch this movie...
I can't stand mans inhumane treatment of animals... and when I think of horses and dogs sent into battle because they followed the owners order.... I can't bear it. At lest with a human you can understand but to charge head long into a battle is awful and then left to die in confusion and pain .... I get upset every time I see the commercial for the movie.
I am not a fan of Spielberg movies so this has two points against it already for me.
Happy to know that spring is arriving, maybe ?

cheers, parsnip

MorningAJ said...

I don't think I want to see warhorse. I might read the book though.

You'll like Embleton. We stayed near there a couple of years ago in a cottage.

jill said...

I also dont think I could watch the film,but I have read some of the reviews and it seems most people enjoy it.Hope this spring feeling is going to continue.

Penny said...

Pat we were very lucky to have a special tour of the Chillingham wild cattle as the son of the person we stayed with looks after them. A lovely area and it was all very interesting.
We loved Northumberland and hope to go back, possibly later this year.

Mary said...

Thanks for the film review - I may go it or just wait until it's on Netflix and watch here on my small screen. Sometimes anything gory is just too much on the big screen with such loud surround sound!

I saw the bluest bluebird on my suet feeder this morning - the sun shining on his feathers made him so beautiful - then the red-headed woodpecker arrived and chased him away!

Mary X

Hildred said...

It is your snowdrops that caught my attention Pat!!! Such a contrast to your blowing wind, but before the snow came I saw little stubs of hellebore pushing through the earth, so when it is all gone they may make another foray into some milder weather.

H said...

I am avoiding War Horse.

Northumberland is a different matter. It's somewhere I have on my 'to be visited' list. I hope you have a wonderful time exploring.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I'm no film fan but Northumberland you will love. It's one of the places where I used to lead walking holidays, everyone used to comment "Why doesn't anybody tell you about Northumberland?"

Bovey Belle said...

I saw it this week too (my son treated me, bless him). I LOVED the Dartmoor scenes (as I love Dartmoor), but being horsey, I was critical of the horsey scenes - the cack-handed horse handling - as with fitting the collar for the first time, and a later bit involving that. Horses do NOT whinney in the instances they showed! BUT, the actual trenches and war scenes were brilliant - I felt like I was there, and tears only pricked my eyes when the whistle was blown and they went over the top, as I remembered my husband's grandfather and great-uncle, who were both killed on the Somme.

I agree though, the time went very quickly.

You will enjoy Northumberland. My husband loves it and would move there tomorrow!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the favourable comments on Northumberland - shall let you know how the holiday goes.

I am off to John's site immediately to see why he hated War Horse.