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Water for Elephants (2011)
The criticisms on this site are unbelievable
As a huge fan of the original novel, I was expecting to be disappointed with this movie. After seeing it, I am baffled that the movie fails to explain the significance of the title but was pleasantly surprised.
The negative reviews on this website truly blow my mind. I will agree that the animal abuse scenes are upsetting and difficult to watch. For that reason, I have not recommended this movie to those of my friends who do not like "sad" movies, although the movie does have a happy ending. Nor would I recommend this movie for children. But one reviewer in particular seemed to think that the movie promotes animal abuse and I think is obvious throughout that only the movie's villain engages in any animal abuse whatsoever and that the protagonists of the film and many other characters are strongly against it.
Some of the descriptions of the plot as having serious fallacies as well I also think are unfair. Yes, some parts are schmaltzy and cliché but no more so than many other dramas out there. The film is beautifully done and I think Waltz does a terrific job. I actually would give the weakest performance to Reese, but I feel that that may reflect the bit of "putting her on a pedestal" that Jacob gives to her character, similar to the heroines in other recent movies such as Latika in Slumdog Millionaire. For a young actor, I think that Pattinson does a good job- you feel his passion for his work and he is likable. Perhaps not the strongest acting out there, but I am unable to think of an actor near Pattinson's age who I would have preferred to see in the role. Overall, the acting is well done and the characters are engaging.
Overall, this is a wonderful and unique story. I highly recommend reading the book and I definitely think that the movie is worth seeing if you are looking for a movie with some thought and originality. Do I think this will win the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actor, or Best Actress? No I do not. I think Supporting Actor nod for Waltz and some production awards are definitely forthcoming, and that if you are looking for a well done movie with an interesting story, you will enjoy seeing Water for Elephants.