Water for Elephants DVD / Blu Ray
Water for Elephants - The Movie
Starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon
Running away with the circus is one of the world's most enduring and romantic ideas. However, the reality of circus life during the Depression era was that it was hard and painful. Based on the acclaimed number-one bestseller, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS presents an epic tale of forbidden love in a magical place filled with adventure, wonder and great danger.
Sara Gruen's bestselling novel comes to glossy life in this period romance.
Robert Pattinson plays Jacob Jankowski, now over ninety years old, who looks back on that time of desperation, cruelty and prejudice; but at the same time, he recalls the magical atmosphere among the larger-than-life circus population.
Jankowski studied veterinary medicine during the Great Depression. After a family tragedy, he lost everything, including the chance to graduate from prestigious Cornell. So he hops a train, where he finds himself part of the struggling Benzini Brothers Circus. Jacob becomes the company vet, which leads him to meet equestrian Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), wife of the charismatic but dangerous circus ringleader August (Christoph Waltz, echoing his Oscar-winning Inglourious Basterds performance).
When Marlena's prize steed falls ill, August purchases an elephant, Rosie, hoping it will turn their fortunes around, and enlists Jacob to train her. Unfortunately, she's slow to respond to commands until Jankowski unlocks her secret -- and after August has beaten the poor thing into submission. After that, things start to look up until Jacob steals a kiss from his dream girl. They discover beauty amidst the world of the Big Top, and come together through their compassion for the special elephant. Against all odds – including the wrath of Marlena's dangerous husband, Jacob saves Marlena from an unhappy life and they find lifelong love.
The movie depicts the juxtaposed truths of the circus and the nursing home. As in The Notebook, the film it most closely resembles, an elderly version of the central character (Hal Holbrook, touching) narrates in the present day (screenwriter Richard LaGravenese also adapted The Bridges of Madison County). He tells an interesting tale, so it's too bad the leads strike so few sparks. For those who find big-top classics like Nightmare Alley too dark, however, director Francis Lawrence's feel-better variant may be just the ticket.
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From the scripting stage to pre-production, through production and the final touches of post production as WATER FOR ELEPHANTS neared its worldwide release, the filmmakers endeavored to bring to life this world, its characters, and a story of a forbidden attraction that becomes a lifelong love. "People have always wanted to have their 'day at the circus' – a joyful moment taking them outside their everyday lives," notes Reese Witherspoon. "I hope that's what we've done here: create something that people will enjoy." Adds Francis Lawrence: "One of the reasons I did WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is because it has love, wish fulfillment, redemption, magic and beauty. I hope audiences latch on to all of those things."
A film adaptation produced by Flashpoint Entertainment and Fox 2000 Pictures was released in theaters on April 22, 2011. The film was directed by Francis Lawrence, and starred Robert Pattinson as Jacob Jankowski, Reese Witherspoon as Marlena, and Christoph Waltz as August. Hal Holbrook played the older Jacob Jankowski. Other cast members include Mark Povinelli as Kinko/Walter and Jim Norton as Camel, James Frain as Rosie's caretaker, Ken Foree as Earl and Paul Schneider as Charlie O'Brien.
The character of "Uncle Al" has been eliminated. In the film, August is both owner and animal trainer.
The film featured Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum #610 and former McCloud Railway No. 18. No. 18 was repaired to operational condition for filming. Once her scenes were finished, she was returned to her owners, the Virginia & Truckee Railroad in Virginia City, Nevada. Afterwards, she was put into service on July 24.
Water for Elephants was filmed in Ventura County, California; Georgia; and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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ROBERT PATTINSON (Jacob) is best known for his portrayal of the vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga. He gained industry notice at 19 years of age when he joined the Harry Potter franchise in Mike Newell's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, playing Cedric Diggory. Last year, Pattinson starred opposite Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Emilie De Ravin in the drama, Remember Me, directed by Allen Coulter. Upcoming is Bel Ami, a film based on the novel of the same name written by Guy de Maupassant, in which Pattinson plays a young journalist in Paris who betters himself through his connections to the city's most glamorous and influential women, played by Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci.
REESE WITHERSPOON (Marlena) has created the kind of unforgettable characters that connect with critics and audiences alike, making her one of Hollywood's most sought after actresses.
Her extraordinary performance as June Carter Cash opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the Twentieth Century Fox drama Walk the Line, earned her the 2006 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, a BAFTA, Golden Globe® Award, Screen Actors Guild Award®, New York Film Critics Award, Broadcast Film Critics Award, People's Choice Award – and 11 additional honors.
CHRISTOPH WALTZ (August) received Academy, SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Cannes Film Festival awards for his portrayal of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
Earlier this year, Waltz portrayed the villainous Chudnofsky in Michel Gondry's The Green Hornet, alongside Seth Rogan and Cameron Diaz.
Upcoming for Waltz is The Three Musketeers for director W. S. Anderson and Summit Entertainment. Waltz plays Cardinal Richelieu, and the film's international cast also includes Matthew Macfadyen, Mads Mikkelsen and Juno Temple.
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Jacob Jankowski – The novel’s protagonist. He is a "ninety or ninety-three"-year-old nursing home resident reminiscing on the time he spent as a circus veterinarian during the Great Depression.
Marlena – The main love interest and a star performer with the circus. Marlena joined the circus after she ran away from home to marry August. She enjoys a special rapport with the horses and cares for them deeply.
August – Marlena’s husband and the head animal trainer. As a classic batterer, he is alternately charming and brutal, both to the humans and animals aboard the Benzini Brothers train. Later in the book, it is suggested that he is a paranoid schizophrenic to excuse his violence.
Uncle Al – The violent, abusive owner of the circus. He is known for redlighting circus workers – having them thrown off the moving circus train in the middle of the night to avoid paying them. If these roustabouts are deemed to have committed some particularly egregious offense, they were thrown off while the train was passing over a trestle, presumably with the hope that they would die or be seriously injured.
Kinko/Walter – A dwarf with whom Jacob shares living quarters on the circus train. Initially, their relationship is rocky, but they develop a strong friendship. At the beginning of the story, he is known as Kinko. Walter is his real name and he only lets his friends call him this. He has a Jack Russell Terrier named Queenie to which he is very attached.
Camel – One of the first people Jacob meets when he jumps the train. Camel is a drunk who is instrumental in getting Jacob a job with the circus. When Camel gets "Jake Leg" from drinking contaminated Jamaican ginger, Jacob and Walter hide him in their train car and care for him.
Rosie – An elephant that Uncle Al buys from another circus. She is believed to be useless until it is discovered that she understands commands only in Polish. She is often the target of August’s rage.
Rosemary – A nurse in the nursing home where Jacob lives who is especially kind to Jacob, despite the fact that Jacob can be very rude to her.
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