ADVERTISEMENT

The video: The "epic-looking" trailer for Steven Spielberg's upcoming film, War Horse, was released this week, and early money says the movie, due in December, will "trot" right "into the Oscar derby." (See the trailer below.) Based on Michael Morpurgo's novel of the same name (the stage adaptation just won the Tony Award for Best Play), War Horse follows the World War I-era friendship between an English farm boy and his horse, Joey. After the horse is sold to the cavalry, the sweeping film follows the boy's search for him through war-torn Europe — both making a play for Oscar and "going straight for the cockles of your heart."

The reaction: "God, that's gorgeous," says Anthony Breznican at Entertainment Weekly. The visually stunning trailer is a "thing of wonder" — and certainly reminiscent of Spielberg's other war film, Saving Private Ryan. War Horse is "destined" to be an awards favorite. But the trailer also spotlights some of Spielberg's "more shamelessly schmaltzy tendencies," says Mark Monahan at Britain's Telegraph, with its swelling score and "moody horse-staring-into-middle-distance shots." Watch the trailer: