Projections - Movie Reviews

Black Beauty

Ann Sewell's classic family story is retold in this heartwarming new film.  Screenwriter Caroline Thompson (The Secret Garden, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey) makes her directing debut, sharing with audiences her fundamental love of animals and her particular love of Black Beauty.  "To be honest," says Thompson, "I loved Black Beauty so much that I didn't trust anyone else to direct it.  It was certainly one of my favorite stories from childhood...it has deep meaning for me."

Black Beauty was born in the late nineteenth century and the movie follows the first two decades of his life - from kind to heartless owners, among friends and enemies.  "All Black Beauty really wants," says Thompson, "is safety, and it takes a whole lifetime for him to find it.  Although he comes into contact with so many people, good and bad, there's only one with whom he really has a bond, who is there near the beginning and will be so again at the end."

Told from Black Beauty's perspective, in a gentle British accent, the story portrays the naive and trusting nature of animals.  He is a gorgeous animal, filmed in the very appealing surroundings of Southern England.  His equine friends, Ginger and Merrylegs are equally attractive, as are many of his human co-stars, especially David Thewlis as the London horsedrawn cab driver, Jim Carter as John Manley and Andrew Knott as young Joe Green.  Also noteworthy in making this film are Alex Thomson (Director of Photography) whose artistry greatly enhanced the story and Rex Peterson (Horse Trainer) whose belief that "kindness is the key to a horse's heart" came across in the way these animals were captured.

I have no other word than "gorgeous" to describe this film.  Black Beauty will win you over with his gentleness and will find you reaching for your kleenex more than once.  Bravo to Caroline Thompson for a real winner!

 
Frank
Chris
Linda
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Black Beauty
 
 
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