Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War Horse has been touted as a 2011 Best Picture frontrunner pretty much from the day the director signed on to adapt Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's book last May. When Nick Stafford's Broadway adaptation of the book won Best Play at this year's Tony awards, the project took on even more of a can't-miss vibe. How could Steven Spielberg make a movie about the friendship between a boy and his horse during World War I that doesn't scoop up Oscar gold? The first trailer offers a potential roadmap—it's impeccably edited, with a suitably rousing John Williams score, but comes distressingly close to self-parody at times. It's great, but you're constantly aware that this is Spielberg doing Spielberg.



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