Film.Com Discusses Water for Elephants *Must Read*



Fangs or sus­penders … which shows off Robert Pattinson’s sexy side more?

That’s the ques­tion pre– and post-tween Twi-hards still swoon­ing over Rpattz’s Edward Cullen may be pon­der­ing when they glimpse set snap­shots from his upcom­ing Great Depression-era epic Water for Ele­phants. Those who appre­ci­ate Pat­tin­son for his more seri­ous, less super­nat­ural roles in Remem­ber Me and Lit­tle Ashes are prob­a­bly ask­ing them­selves the same question.

Whether or not you respect Pattinson’s cin­ema pres­ence doesn’t really mat­ter, though; there are plenty more rea­sons to get but­ter­flies in your belly in antic­i­pa­tion of the April 2011 adap­ta­tion of Water for Ele­phants. Based on Sara Gruen’s best-selling his­tor­i­cal novel, it’s a tale imbued with the sort of enchanted nos­tal­gia that makes one feel like they’ve stepped inside a faded, sepia-tinged pho­to­graph or yel­lowed news­pa­per clip­ping scene and trav­eled back in time to tip­toe through the lives of the strangers in the pic­tures. Or as if they’ve per­haps snuck into the mem­o­ries of a 93-year-old for­mer cir­cus vet­eri­nar­ian — like the hero of Gruen’s book, Jacob Jankowski.

Jacob nar­rates the begin­ning of his mem­oir from a nurs­ing home as he sur­veys the install­ment of a trav­el­ing cir­cus from his bed­room win­dow. It stirs up mem­o­ries of his youth as a 23-year-old car­ry­ing water for ele­phants and oth­er­wise car­ing for a menagerie of cir­cus ani­mals dur­ing the 1930s. If that’s not enough of a plot to entice you into Jankowski’s cir­cus, add to it the love tri­an­gle he forms with his mar­ried amour, the daz­zling eques­trian star Mar­lena (Reese With­er­spoon), and her charis­matic but bru­tal hus­band August (Christop Waltz replac­ing Sean Penn). (Rumor has it, in the movie August may end up being an amal­gam of two of the novel’s char­ac­ters: August and tyrant cir­cus owner Uncle Al.) Pile onto that par­a­lyzed drunk pal Camel, who hides out in Jacob’s train car; his ally Wal­ter the dwarf; Rosie the mar­velous and mis­treated ele­phant; and the scan­dalous Coochie Girls. Set it all in the hard-knocks land­scape of the Great Depres­sion and you have the mak­ings of a spec­tac­u­larly thrilling, poignant, and roman­tic adven­ture. And not air­brushed rom-com romance, but rather love with gritty, witty, engross­ing, true-to-life twists and turns that res­onate like they’ve been lifted from the pages of your intre­pid grandpa’s diary.

Need more rea­son to add Water for Ele­phants to your spring movie sched­ule? Two words: Christoph Waltz. When the tal­ent behind the nutty Oscar-winning Nazi from Inglou­ri­ous Bas­terds slips on the shoes of a schiz­o­phrenic ring­mas­ter, odds are good he’ll give a show-stopping per­for­mance — the kind that could earn him Acad­emy Award num­ber two. It will also be inter­est­ing to see if Pat­tin­son holds his own with With­er­spoon and if the two can make sparks fly. Water for Ele­phants is directed by I Am Leg­end’s Fran­cis Lawrence with P.S. I Love You screen­writer Richard Lagrave­nese pen­ning the adapted script. So far, Water for Ele­phants seems like a cin­ema cir­cus worth buy­ing a ticket to see.



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