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Fun Friday—Movie Night!

April 29, 2011

Girl’s Night Out! Always a fun time! But last night it took a more literary spin as my neighborhood book club, Readers in the Hood, got together to go see Water for Elephants at a local theatre. We made an evening of it by stopping by Yolo Berry for some yummy yogurt beforehand.

Review: For those of you who have read the book, you know the story. For the rest of you, I’ll try to be brief: a 90-something Jacob Jankowski (played sympathetically by the great Hal Holbrooke) visits a circus and tells the Circus Manager how he worked in the Benzini Brothers Circus in 1931 and was part of the biggest circus disaster in history. In the telling of this flashback story we also meet Marlena and August Rosenbluth, the star and owner, respectively, of the circus. Rosie, the elephant, is the heroine of our story, and the theme of love—whether familial, romantic, or between humans and animals (I mean this in only the best sense)—clearly comes into play.

Robert Pattinson (of Twilight fame—yes, I was skeptical, too) effortlessly plays the range of emotions necessary to superbly master the starring role of the younger Jacob. Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon shows her usual excellence as the damsel-in-distress, Marlena. But  still Christoph Waltz steals the show as the psychotic man you love to hate who manipulates his little fiefdom by cruelty and coercion—a role very similar to his in Inglorious Basterds—at one moment charming and suave, the next violent and malevolent.

Most readers will be glad to know that the screenwriters followed Sara Gruen’s story line from the book—as closely as you can in a 2-hour film. The costumes were beautiful, and the art designers recreated the depression time period accurately through great attention to detail. I hope that those who see the movie and haven’t read the book will be inspired to do so, since the book is almost always going to give you a richer experience. But the movie is quite entertaining and it’s one that you’ll want to see on the big screen—great cinematography!

Oh, yeah—and it’s a great excuse for a girls night out.




Buy the Book: Water for Elephants

Watch the Trailer:

Find Showtimes near you:

Author’s website:

Author interview:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2011 2:30 pm

    I’ve seen movie trailers for Water for Elephants and I’m sold. I want to see the movie before I read the book. If I like the movie as much as I think I will, I will definitely buy the book.

    Thanks for the entertaining and thorough review of the movie/book. It is very helpful to have this information beforehand.

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