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Water for Elephants (2011)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  22 April 2011 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 83,392 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 258 user | 275 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Wade (as Stephen Monroe Taylor)
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Rosie's Caretaker
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Mr. Erwin
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Mr. Robinson
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Storyline

After his parents' death, Jacob Jankowski is left penniless and homeless. Events lead him to joining the circus as their vet, working under their unstable boss August whose violent tendencies give everyone reason to be cautious around him, including his beautiful and quiet wife Marlena, whom August is very possessive of and who Jacob finds himself soon falling in love with. Written by mel47

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is the most spectacular show on earth.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for moments of intense violence and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 April 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agua para elefantes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,270,483 (UK) (6 May 2011)

Gross:

$58,700,247 (USA) (5 August 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

| (home movie sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn was cast but dropped out and was replaced by Christoph Waltz. See more »

Goofs

While in the speakeasy August leaves the table that he, Marlena and Jacob are sitting at. Marlena is smoking a fairly short cigarette. In the next scene, the cigarette is noticeably longer. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Russ: [in the rain] Uh, Excuse me sir. Can we help you? Can we help you with something?
Old Jacob: Did I miss the Spec?
Charlie: Uh, yeah, I'm afraid so. The show was this afternoon.
Old Jacob: Oh.
Charlie: Did you come with the folks from Green Haven? Why don't we get out of the rain, and we'll call them for you.
Old Jacob: No, no! I came on my own.
Russ: It's okay. We're gonna call the home. We're gonna have them come pick you up.
Old Jacob: I'm telling you, I didn't come with the home! Why don't you take those rings out of your head, and maybe you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In 'The producers wish to thank' section of the credits, the Circus World Museum is listed as being in Barbaroo, WI. The actual town is Baraboo, WI. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.130 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Button Up Your Overcoat
Written by Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva and Ray Henderson
Performed by Ruth Etting
Courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Loved the book and very happy with the movie!
23 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Water for Elephants was a WONDERFUL book. I was afraid that no movie could compare to the delicious tale spun by Sara Gruen. I was particularly worried about Robert Pattinson being able to bring life to Jacob on screen (given that he's really only excelled at being a dead vampire). Also, the critics weren't too nice to this film.

I have to say though, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I fell back into the story with the cast of characters. As everyone else has said, the film itself was beautiful and will probably win an award for cinematography. Of course having read the book, much of the descriptive detail of the circus life and circus characters was left out of the movie. Also, the book is extremely heart-wrenching in it's description of old Jacob in the nursing home and some of that feeling was left out along the way (though the opening scene brought me to tears!). Also, some of the scenes with Rosie brought me to tears. They picked a GREAT elephant for the part!! A screenwriter has a time limit to work with when paring down a book and overall it was done very well! If you've read the book, you won't be disappointed...the meat of the story and the characters makes it to the screen. My husband had not read the book and didn't know what he was missing and liked it as much as I did (and even laughed and shuddered along the way with me).

I have to say that I thought the one weak link was Reese Witherspoon. I thought her film portrayal of Marlena came across as weaker than the book version, but she was physically perfect for the part-beautiful! I loved it, it's definitely worth seeing!


42 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why would Jacob mispronounce his own name? Nastassya
Is the Elephant Abuse Too Hard to Watch? Halloweenish
Anyone else feel this film was... Lacking? Minae
Why did the Cornell people disrupt his exam? jmhow
Anyone else feel this film was a remake of Walt Disney´s Dumbo? franciscocastro
The math of Jacob’s Age diogenes-13
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