Water for Elephants tells the story of a veterinary student who leaves school to work as the vet for a traveling circus.
Not a whole lot of details are available at present, but the film appears to be a bit of a trippy, Doctor Parnassus type of film, only with a circus. The vet has to learn to deal with animals a bit bigger and more complex than the little dogs and cats he had originally planned to treat.
Directed by I Am Legend and Constantine helmer Francis Lawrence, Water for Elephants was written by Richard LaGravenese, whose had a long and relatively successful career, having written multiple Oscar bait films such as The Horse Whisperer, The Bridges of Madison County, and Beloved. So he has an excellent feel for screenplays intended to garner an Academy Award nomination.
Who’s It For?
Movie Release Date
April 15, 2011.
Who’s In It?
Robert Pattinson … Jacob Jankowski
Reese Witherspoon … Marlena Rosenbluth
Christoph Waltz … August Rosenbluth
James Frain … Rosie’s Caretaker
Hal Holbrook … Jacob Jankowski – older
Paul Schneider … Charlie
Based on the novel by Sara Gruen.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Horse Whisperer, I Am Legend
What’s Good About It?
So far, I’ve mostly enjoyed Francis Lawrence’s films. Constantine was good, and the first half to three fourths of I Am Legend was excellent, so I’m looking forward to Water for Elephants. Having such an acclaimed writer on the project just furthers the potential. I’m unsure of the inclusion of Robert Pattinson, who has yet to show me any real acting chops. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here only because it must be essentially impossible to give a quality performance in a film series like Twilight.
What’s Bad About It?
She’s not a bad actress, but I’ve never really like Reese Witherspoon. Maybe she’ll be more likable here.
Our Clever Prediction
I see a solid box office. Pattinson gets a ton of press, even if he has little drawing power outside of Twilight. Witherspoon can draw, and the concept looks good enough that it can put some asses in seats. I think the critics will be good to Water for Elephants also. I can’t help but figure the script will be good, and Lawrence has a great visual style, so it should be pretty good.