Water for Elephants (2011)

Drama, Romance
Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Paul Schneider
A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet.
It's a tale tastefully told and beautifully filmed, but Water for Elephants suffers from a pronounced lack of chemistry between its leads.
  • 20th Century Fox Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 22 Apr 2011 Released:
  • 01 Nov 2011 DVD Release:
  • $58.7M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

An amazing and magical movie9/10
How to summarize this movie? How does one write about the magic you experienced? I do not know where to begin. The movie took me by storm, it was so fantastically well-made, colors, scenes, it captured one and brought one back to 1930 century magical, but oh so dark circus life. Robert impressed in his role and enchanted me once again. By his side was Reese as spectacular as she always is, beautiful, seductive and fragile. Their forbidden love and passion was captivating. But the movies big star in my opinion was Rosie, the stunning elephant. Could not help but to wish for my own Rosie.

The movie was wonderful in every way, romance, passion, action, tragedy, joy, yes, everything you can imagine. A different story (although it starts as the Titanic and has a similar feel) that enchanted me. I still can't stop thinking about the movie.

Must be seen!
very fine drama; old style and that's why it is so appealing9/10
Water For Elephants got released here a full week ahead of the US and first let me indulge in the joy of being able to review such a highly anticipated film before my fellow American film-loving counterparts.

The film completely fulfilled my expectations. It is a well scripted, meticulously shot and finely acted period drama, the likes of which are increasingly less to come by at the movies these days. A big congratulations to all those involved with the production for having the confidence to delve into this venture. Actually I am very curious about its box-office. Last year was a surprisingly profitable year for adult dramas and if that is any indication, this fine film should continue the same trend.

Water For Elephants really impresses with the production design, atmosphere, costumes and stunts. Most of the time I felt like I was watching a classic film made during the studio era; it looked that authentic and faultless. The three main actors all seem satisfied for having such meaty parts and deliver more than satisfactory performances. Robert Pattinson shines and proves that he is capable as a serious actor. Reese Witherspoon has always been a true professional and here with her stunts demonstrates that again. She also fits surprisingly well to the 1930s platinum blonde beauty type. Christopher Waltz is a wonderful actor and here it becomes very clear that his success in Inglorious Basterds was not a one-off. The story is very emotional and while it touches the heart romantically, it also manages to lay down a heretofore unseen dark aspect of old era circus entertainment in particular and also crowd entertainment as a whole. I almost wished for a three hour epic after it ended; it left me wanting more. The whole thing was really interesting.

All in all a wonderful and deeply satisfying experience at the movies, well worth every dime. Go see it so that adult dramas of this caliber (in terms of star power, production budget and subsequent attention to detail) could continue to be made.
A truly spectacular movie!9/10
OK, I'll try to tell you a bit of what I thought about "Water for Elephants", without spoiling anything. I have not read the novel (even though I plan to do it now) so I'm only offering my views on the movie.

First of all: It's amazingly beautiful. The costumes and sets are gorgeous, the cinematography is exquisite, the animals are cute (especially Rosie the elephant) and the three leads are very easy on the eyes as well.

Robert Pattinson was actually quite good. This was a surprise to me, since I didn't really think he was anything special in any of the Twilight movies or "Remember Me". He looked very appropriate for the time the movie was set in, and even though I love Emile Hirsch (who auditioned for Jacob too) I'm confident that Robert was the best choice there was for this role, it was perfect for him. Hal Holbrook was also very fitting for the role of older Jacob. The two actors really made me believe that they were the same person in different stages of his life.

Reese Witherspoon was okay. She looked beautiful, was charming and cute but it felt like something was missing - however, I can't think of any other actress I would have liked better in the role, so I came to the conclusion that it was probably the character Marlena that was a little bland, not Reese.

But the true star of this movie was Christoph Waltz. I may be a bit biased since I loved him in "Inglorious Basterds", but he was even more perfect in this movie. His portrayal of August was amazing, he made him likable and interesting and I was always compelled by his scenes. The character reminded me a lot of Miles in "King Kong" (played by Jack Black), a character that also wanted fame and success more than anything and used questionable and even cruel methods to get it. He was terrifying in some scenes too, but always believable. Also, in the beginning of the movie i really felt the chemistry between August and Marlena, which made the character even more interesting; however, I did feel like Jacob and Marlena had chemistry too, and in my opinion this way it was more realistic (both men loved her and she also cared about both of them).

I loved the movie, and I really recommend it to everyone. I would sincerely give it 10/10 stars. Of course there was some parts of the movie I didn't like (particularly towards the end of it), but overall it was a magical, spectacular and epic period movie, and I can't wait to see it again!
a spectacular film10/10
When I read Water for Elephants the book, I knew the film would be difficult to make and I was ready to be disappointed. Surprisingly, they managed to capture most of it in picture. Some things were lost on the way, of course, the most unfortunate one being old Jacob's struggles as an old man who refuses to retire from life before his time actually comes. Other details that made the book a masterpiece seemed more suitable for a book so they were not missed, mainly because the core story was there to its finest details.

The reenactment of America in Great Depression was good, and the circus was everything you would expect it to be. Such chaos and life and acts and performers and runes and animals all mashed up in a beautiful lively atmosphere. Scenes flowed one after the other smoothly and nothing seemed out of place. This is a hard thing to accomplish when it comes to adaptations. Most of them end up looking like a slide show of pictures or events taken from the book (see Hardwicke's Twilight for a perfect example). This film was a success.

The acting was another noteworthy aspect. People will have to acknowledge Robert Pattinson as a first class actor after watching this; and Waltz will be the go-to person for the upcoming psycho roles. He just digs it, I think and he creates the most intimidating gentleman on screen. Witherspoon looked average to me as Marlena, but I may be biased so I won't go into it much. All in all, it would be bizarre if at least one out of the three did not get an Oscar nod.
Old Hollywood Movie10/10
Water For Elephants takes us back in time, not just because it is set in the 30's but also because the movie is filmed with such quality and attention to detail, it is very much like movies used to be made. No reliance on CGI or profanity to make up for lack of imagination either. The dialog is crisp and the film adheres very much to the spirit of the book, even if things were consolidated or omitted for the film.

The cinematography is lush and if the film doesn't win an award for it, it will be a travesty.

And the performances are wonderful. Christoph Waltz is captivating as a complex character and Reese Witherspoon walks a fine line (no pun intended) between the role of a dutiful wife and that of a survivor. But it is Robert Pattinson who delivers a range of emotion not seen from him before. He is understated and again reminds me of actors of old - Gary Cooper specifically. He plays a gentleman and a scholar but also shows passion and intensity. Any doubt viewers might have had on his abilities as an actor are wiped away, as he more than holds his own in scenes with two Oscar winners.

This is a must-see movie for anyone wanting to see more quality films and less action-packed/violence ridden/computer enhanced drivel at the theaters. Bravo!