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Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants

4.2 12
Director: Francis Lawrence

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz


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A handsome veterinary student falls for a married circus performer in this romantic drama adapted from author Sara Gruen's best-selling novel, and directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend). When Jacob (Robert Pattinson) meets Marlena (


A handsome veterinary student falls for a married circus performer in this romantic drama adapted from author Sara Gruen's best-selling novel, and directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend). When Jacob (Robert Pattinson) meets Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), it's love at first sight -- their shared affections for an extraordinary elephant stirring profound feelings of compassion within both of them. Theirs is a love that could span lifetimes, though the wrath of Marlena's dangerously domineering husband, August (Christoph Waltz), threatens to spell tragedy for all involved.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Cammila Collar
For a movie that's not even close to as spectacular as the big top it depicts, Water for Elephants is still perfectly watchable. Though the central romantic story is pretty standard and formulaic, the setting is pretty interesting; Hollywood churns out plenty of love triangles, but few of them are set against a Depression-era traveling circus backdrop. The movie also benefits from an ensemble of animal performers fleshing out the supporting cast -- though a word of caution to the sensitive: most of them are shown being mercilessly mistreated. We're introduced to the Benzini Brothers circus one dark night in 1931, as young Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson) jumps on the company's train. A veterinary student at Cornell University, Jacob was just about to take his final exam when his parents were killed in a car crash, leaving a mountain of debt they'd taken on for his education. Desperate and disillusioned, Jacob soon becomes useful to the company's proprietor, a charming but terrifying man named August (Christoph Waltz), by taking on the care of the menagerie of creatures in the circus -- including the four horses that August's beautiful wife, Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), uses for the show's main act. When one of the mares becomes ill, August replaces her with a sweet and uncannily clever elephant named Rosie, whom Jacob is charged with training. However, Jacob also falls in love with Marlena, of course, igniting August's rage, which he unleashes not only on the guilty couple, but on Rosie, whom he prods and beats brutally. At the risk of stating the obvious, Waltz is so ridiculously compelling and eerily menacing, it could be said that he carries the movie -- if not for the fact that the show is completely stolen by Rosie the elephant (whose real name is Tai). The gorgeous pachyderm is even more charismatic than the Oscar-winning villain -- and certainly more so than the heartthrob leading man -- so don't be surprised if her mistreatment, no matter how predictable, feels particularly horrifying. For a creature that weighs several tons to convey happiness, fear, and despair through her vocalizations and body movements is both breathtaking and, in more tragic moments, heartbreaking. For such a huge animal to be so at the mercy of dominance and abuse does seem to lend a bit of subtext to the film, and help it build toward an emotional climax that feels well deserved.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Reese Witherspoon Marlena
Robert Pattinson Jacob
Christoph Waltz August
Paul Schneider Charlie
Jim Norton Camel
Hal Holbrook Old Jacob
Mark Povinelli Kinko,Walter
Richard Brake Grady
Stephen Monroe Taylor Wade
Ken Foree Earl
Scott MacDonald Blackie
James Frain Rosie's Caretaker
Sam Anderson Mr. Hyde
John Aylward Mr. Erwin
Brad Greenquist Mr. Robinson
Tim Guinee Diamond Joe
Donna W. Scott Barbara
E.E. Bell Cecil the Barker
Kyle Jordan Russ
Aleksandra Kaniak Mrs. Jankowski
Ilia Volok Mr. Jankowski
Bruce Gray Proctor
Jim Jansen Dean Wilkins
James Keane Chaplain
Ivo Nandi Grocer
Karynn Moore Catherine Hale
Andrew Connolly Weehawken Officer
Doug McDougal Big Top Band Leader
Tracy Phillips Coochie Girl (Nell)
Rowan O'Hara Stampede Girl
Tai Rosie
Uggie Queenie
Ice Silver Star
Major Rex
Sita Acevedo Circus Performer
Danny Castle Circus Performer
Michael Coronas Circus Performer
Aloysia Gavré Circus Performer
Chobi Gyorgy Circus Performer
David Hunt Circus Performer
George Landkas-Coronas Circus Performer
Kerren McKeeman Circus Performer
Rebecca Ostroff Circus Performer
Bianca Sapetto Circus Performer
Katia Sereno Circus Performer
Vladimir Sizov Circus Performer
Russell Stark Circus Performer
Sebastien Stella Circus Performer
Lee-Anne Telford Circus Performer
Dreya Weber Circus Performer
Tara Ferguson Showgirl
Shannon Freyer Showgirl
Kelsey McNamee Showgirl
Molly O'Neill Showgirl
Aryiel Hartman Coochie Girl
Michelle Lavon Coochie Girl
Mark Barnett Sideshow
Kacie Borrowman Sideshow
Rob Crites Sideshow
Kelly Erickson Sideshow
Derrick Gilday Sideshow
Jonathon Moore Sideshow
Mary Newman Sideshow
Brad Potts Sideshow
Dalmicio Pueblos Sideshow
Gabriel Ramos-Gomez Sideshow
Jackie Zane Sideshow
Aaron Bloom Clown
Chris Grabher Clown
Eddie Medrano Clown
Stephen Simon Clown
Jon Weiss Clown
Tom Weymouth Clown
Wyatt Biessel Big Top Band
Chris Blim Big Top Band
Duff Dugan Big Top Band
Marcus Everett Big Top Band
Joe Langer Big Top Band
Glen McDougal Big Top Band
Stefan Rollins Big Top Band
William Scott Morse Big Top Band
Evan Silverman Big Top Band
Beresford Bennett Sideshow Band
Johnny Britt Sideshow Band
Garnett Brown Sideshow Band
George Harper Sideshow Band
Bobby Haynes Sideshow Band
Todd Cochran Speakeasy Jazz Band
Mike Davis Speakeasy Jazz Band
Keith Friddmont Speakeasy Jazz band
Wynton McCurty Speakeasy Jazz Band
Deryl Patterson Speakeasy Jazz Band
Kabin Thomas Speakeasy Jazz Band
Karl Vincent Speakeasy Jazz Band

Technical Credits
Francis Lawrence Director
Alan Edward Bell Editor
Howard Berg Makeup Special Effects
Mark Byers Special Effects Supervisor
Denise Chamian Casting
David Crank Art Director
Kristen Davis Set Decoration/Design
Jack Fisk Production Designer
Robin Fredriksz Makeup
Jose Antonio Garcia Sound Mixer
Kevin Halloran Executive Producer
Jeff Harlacker Associate Producer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Richard LaGravenese Screenwriter
Tami Lane Makeup Special Effects
Gil Netter Producer
Alexandra Patsavas Musical Direction/Supervision
Jeremy Peirson Sound/Sound Designer
Tracy Phillips Choreography
Rodrigo Prieto Cinematographer
Sebastien Stella Choreography
Erwin Stoff Producer
Andrew R. Tennenbaum Producer
Jacqueline West Costumes/Costume Designer
Lars P. Winther Asst. Director


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Water for Elephants 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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kansasfreak More than 1 year ago
I beautiful movie with a classic feel to it. Has everything from love, action, and drama. It's a must see for all animal lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JVDANTES More than 1 year ago
Reese's character was so fab in this movie. Her character was amazing and I love Rob's performance in this movie. extra ordinary,
KLBooksAZ More than 1 year ago
First off, the scenery was AMAZING. And I don't just mean Robert Pattinson. I read this book because the movie was going to be coming out, and didn't really care for it like I thought I would. Which was no surprise as to why I LOVED WFE on the Big Screen. [it's usually the opposite when it comes to books vs. movies, right?] Everyone in this film was fabulous. I was worried for Rob because he's so much more than just Twilight...and I hope after this...he'll keep picking the kind of movies he likes to play in. Well done, Rob! Christoph, Reese and the rest of the cast - as expected - were fantastic. Kudos to everyone who knew just how to entertain me for two majestic, animal filled hours!!! =]
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