Last year, War Horse was the obvious equestrian pick. This year is a little trickier. HN movie critic Amanda Ronan helps us sort through the Best Picture nominees.
The Oscars are coming up this Sunday so I thought I’d give you a rundown of the Best Picture nominees from a distinctly horsey perspective.
Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are politically inclined and, as far as I can tell, have no connections with horses. Amour, a foreign film about love and dying, also has no horse connections.Combine lack of horses, subtitles and politics and you can guarantee I probably won’t watch any of these films until it comes out on a “free” source and even then I’ll only be halfway paying attention while browsing Horse Nation at the same time.
That leaves six vying for the award in my eyes. Life of Pi is a beautiful film with a beautiful musical score and while it doesn’t contain a horse, it does have a tiger. And let’s face it, tigers have street cred. Grrrr….
Similarly, Beasts of the Southern Wild, a movie I’ve never heard of but for some reason am extremely intrigued to see, contains an animal called an oryx, a giant pig thing with four tusks. Interesting…
Silver Linings Playbook is our final horsefree contender. It does, however, star Jennifer Lawrence, a self-proclaimed horse lover. Her mother, Karen, owns a stable/horse camp in Louisville, Kentucky called Camp HiHo.
Now we’re down to the nitty gritty because the final three selections all have fairly hot men on actual horses. These are movies I’m interested in!
First up, Lincoln. With the likes of Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tommy Lee Jones, all under the direction of Steven Spielberg, this Civil War era saga seems like it would be an obvious choice for the big win on Sunday night. It’s only downfall is that instead of Daniel Day Lewis looking like this…
…he is a bit older and craggier in his portrayal of the President. There was also no vampire hunting, which was a bit confusing for me. I mean, honestly, realism is so overrated.
Don’t worry, Joseph Gordon-Levitt more than makes up for all that with his portrayal of Lincoln’s eldest son. Here he is discussing his role.
Next up is Les Miserables. Again this is a veritable montage of great actors including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. Russell Crowe plays the infamous antagonist, Inspector Javert. I didn’t like the character, but I did like his lovely black horse. I was also a fan of his hat. Seriously, I think hats shaped like tacos need to come back into fashion. But then again, maybe only men as handsome as Mr. Crowe can pull off the look.
Finally, our last contender and most “horsey” film is the western Django Unchained starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio, and directed by Quentin Tarantino. In this movie DiCaprio plays
a nefarious plantation owner, a far cry from my fangirl favorite Jack Dawson, but I’ll just say it, he looks good being bad.
But the star of the show is Jamie Foxx, playing Django. Watch this hilarious clip of Jamie discussing his personal horse’s time on set (fast-forward to about 3:00).
So there you go! Which movie do you think will walk away with the Oscar? If it were up to me I would have put one more film in the running, Disney’s Brave. The movie stars a wildhaired equestrian girl who goes against societal pressures to beat the odds, all with her trusty steed, Angus, by her side. It is up for Best Animated Feature Film, but with a plot like that! I mean, come on, that has Best Picture written all over it.
About the Author
Amanda’s experience with horses is just as eclectic as her taste in movies. She has dabbled in almost every discipline from eventing to team penning to fox hunting. She started riding when she was 8 with her local 4-H club in Western performance events. She moved on to the AQHA circuit with her Quarter Horse, “Aggie,” when she was 12 and he was a green 2 year old. Through college she held a working student position at Seahorse Sporthorses, owned by Terri Adams, where she was introduced to the wonderful world of show jumping and eventing. Along with Aggie, who just turned 20 years old, she has two OTTBs in her herd named “Gump” and “Lizard.” Amanda continues her jumping training with Ms. Adams and works on that necessary evil also known as dressage with Mimi Burch of Blue Moon Farm.