War Horse is up for six Oscars on Feb. 26, including Best Picture. Will the Steven Spielberg film win? (PHOTO: Touchstone Pictures).
Stay with IBTimes over the next week as we analyze each Academy Award Best Picture nominee's chances of winning the Oscar. This week, we bring you Steven Spielberg's War Horse.
Steven Spielberg's War Horse is a valiant effort.
Based on the children's novel and Broadway play of the same name, War Horse tells the story of a young boy named Albie and his auction horse Joey, who grows up under the boy's watchful eye in England, just on the heels of World War I.
The war is also the reason for the pair's separation, as Joey embarks on an incredible journey and falls into the hands of multiple owners.
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The film is a valiant effort because as strong as it is (in cinematography, acting, writing, among other things), War Horse is simply competing in the wrong movie season.
Once in a while, the Academy nominates great films that simply have no chance at winning Best Picture. (In recent years: 127 Hours, District 9, Frost/Nixon, Michael Clayton, Little Miss Sunshine). But they are nominated, for one reason or another, and exit the movie awards season gracefully, even if it means not winning the industry's beloved golden statue.
All season long, War Horse has been upstaged by the likes of The Artist, The Descendants, The Help and even Moneyball.
Even more so, Joey the horse has been upstaged by Uggie and Cosmo, the canine stars of The Artist and Beginners, respectively.
When news of Uggie's retirement broke in January, the pup's career received a treatment similar to that of an actor's. (Where will Uggie take his final bow? What was his best film? What will he do in retirement?)
Besides its extravagant red carpet premiere events in New York and London, War Horse has had a fairly quiet season. Sure, there was plenty of attention devoted to Spielberg's love for horses, the newcomer Jeremy Irvine and the magical year of Tom Hiddleston, who has a small role in the film.
But the buzz never really peaked the way The Artist or George Clooney has. War Horse hasn't picked up any steam since its Christmas release. At least, not enough to stand as a strong contender come Sunday, when the Oscars are handed out.
The film has also been quiet on the awards circuit, winning only four so far (the most respected being one of the 10 best films of 2011, according to the American Film Institute). At the Golden Globe awards, War Horse lost the Best Picture (Drama) prize to none other than The Descendants, while John Williams' score to the film lost to Ludovic Bource's work on The Artist.
Of the six Academy Awards War Horse is up for on Sunday, one is a major category (Best Picture). The other categories have long been considered by Oscar enthusiasts as minor feats (art direction, sound editing, sound mixing, and the like).
War Horse is an absolutely gorgeous movie, and Spielberg's direction is evident in some of the film's most epic scenes (eg. Joey's arrival in No Man's Land, complete with all the barbed wire in the world). But it's just not enough for Oscar.
The 84th Academy Awards is on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Do you think War Horse will win Best Picture at Sunday's Oscars? Share your thoughts below.
Follow IBTimes for reviews and predictions for all the best picture nominees. We'll publish the results of our survey the weekend of the Academy Awards.
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