In Bressonworld, casual cruelty and inhumanity are visited upon a saintly little donkey. In Spielbergland, bombs explode at night, pretty photography commences, John Williams‘ music swells, and everyone falls in love with Joey-the-adorable-horse. Or so the trailer indicates.

It was my hope that Steven Spielberg, needing to replace the wondrous effect of the pretend horses in the stage show, would shoot War Horse as a total horse-POV thing, allowing us to see our carnage and compassion anew through the eyes of an innocent. Dashed!