Director: Steven Spielberg
Year Released: 2011
Farmhand Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who befriends and trains his wild horse Joey, is separated from the glorious animal when War Breaks Out and Pop (Peter Mullan) has to sell it: the two go on very different journeys, the horse exchanging hands from owner to owner as it finds its way across Europe, and the boy ends up gassed in the trenches. It's ye ol' time Moral Moviemaking For the Whole Family and would have probably seemed antiquated even if it were made decades prior, but it's so rare to find a film so unapologetically unjaded and optimistic about family, friendship and loyalty that Spielberg found a way to win me over (he has sway over me, I'll admit). I suppose it's best to think of it as a cheerily optimistic Ray of Hope in sour times and also about the almost spiritual connections between beings that can't be explained by mere logic. Even if you think it's corny, you have to admit: whoever trained the (actual) horses deserves the highest praise.