The nice thing about being Steven Spielberg is that if you’ve got a film scheduled for release in December, you’re already considered one of – if not the – front runner for the Oscars. Such is his War Horse, which stars relative newcomer Jeremy Irvine along with Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson and David Thewlis. This buzz is also based on the trailer, and now there’s a poster. Check it out…

This appears to be Spielberg in John Ford territory – sweeping vistas, war torn countries, a painter’s eye. It’s the story of Jeremy Irvine’s Albert, whose horse ends up in World War I. Too young to fight, Albert decides to go off to save his horse. This “boy and his horse” angle seems a bit cute for Spielberg of recent – this might have been a bit saccharine had he directed it in the late 80′s, but post-Munich, it’s hard to say that this won’t have some bite.

War Horse is set to be released December 28, where it will be going up against Tintin, which is also directed by Steven Spielberg. Though not specified, likely there will be a New York/ Los Angeles roll-out, and then a nation-wide release (possibly a week or two later). As for its Oscar chances it’s hard to say at this early date, but I wouldn’t bet against Spielberg.

Who do you think is the front runner currently for the Best Picture Oscar?