Friday, November 23, 2012

The Black Stallion (1979)

The Black Stallion
Directed by Carroll Ballard
Starring: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr
Grade: A - [83] 

A picture postcard of early adolescence, “The Black Stallion” is everything Spielberg’s “War Horse” should have been: majestic, effortless, forged with sentiment but rarely overflowing with it. It’s a beautiful story of a boy-horse bond that’s underpinned but, crucially, allowed to breathe, Ballard capturing the shipwrecked duo’s learned mutual trust with a ten-minute wordless sequence alive with grace and profound feeling. This somewhat simple journey takes a different shape when Oscar-nominated Mickey Rooney enters the picture, but in replacing the horse’s temporary purpose as a paternal figure, the film enlightens the adaptability of animals and our use of them to great effect. Despite the obvious similarities to “War Horse” it finds a depth and scope displayed infinitely better in Bresson’s “Au Hasard Balthazar,” and yet can be identified as a wonderful family movie, too.

No comments: