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Early “War Horse” reactions are positive – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Tony Award-winning “War Horse” started grassroots screening in small markets last night. They’ll continue this evening. And while the reactions are from John and Jane Q. Public instead of dyed-in-the-wool Oscar analysts, they’ve largely been favorable. Which probably is what Disney was looking for.

“Would def recommend War Horse to anyone who asks. Great movie, well worth the 2:20, never felt like it though. Very evenly paced,” Tweeted @MetalTodd from Cleveland, Ohio.

“I’ll be giving a full review early tomorrow (I need to let this brilliant film sink in a bit more), but I am DEFINITELY giving it 5/5. Actually, I’ll go farther than that. This was a masterpiece. This should be one of the top 2-3 during Oscar season. All the hype we were hoping for was well-deserved. Outside of the first 30 minutes being a tad “eh,” the rest of the film is the best I’ve seen of Spielberg in years. Some of the greatest scenes I’ve seen in his career. I’m going to go as far as to say that it’s my second favorite Spielberg film after “Schindler’s List.” First chance you get, go see it. There should be quite a few ore screenings leading up to its late December release. A+++!!” was the enthusiastic response from Emailjnm on the IMDB message boards.

“The movie was FANTASTIC! War Horse was awesome. A must-see,” adds @PensNucksDenver.

So, not exactly Variety, but reactions from the people. Spielberg, no doubt, turned the award-winning material into a crowd-pleaser. We just want to know if it’s going to be an Oscar-pleaser, as well.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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  • November 2, 2011 | Permalink |

    I saw it tonight and I am an Oscar analyst. It has the backing and pedigree to get nominees but it has absolutely no shot at winning anything.
    The first act is a disaster, like 0 out of 100 disaster, the second act is about a 50, and the third is about an 80 but rests solely on sentimentality and Spielberg war scenes.
    The movie’s main problem is its source material which I don’t believe adapts all that well to the screen and their are two stories that are just plain unneeded to tell the tale they are trying tell.

  • November 3, 2011 | Permalink |

    Although both the film and the Broadway play are adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, the movie is not an adaptation of the play.

  • November 3, 2011 | Permalink |

    Several reactions have said the film starts slow but gets better as it goes. Interesting. Anxious to see it for myself.

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