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.