Water for Elephants


I loved this movie; however, I stand by my general dislike for the awkward present tense start (books or films) that falls away into massive backstory with voiceover. Yes, I’m sure there are exceptions … this wasn’t one of them. Even so, I highly recommend this movie.

Reese Witherspoon rocked as Marlena, the trapped wife. I’ve liked every movie I’ve seen with her (not that I’m claiming to have seen all). She was most excellent in Walk the Line and just as good here.

This is the first time I’ve seen Robert Pattinson (gasp!). Didn’t know him from Adam and thought he did a fine job as Jacob, the romantic lead. My daughter suffered from a problem identifying him with some popular vampire thingie, but I don’t know what that is, so no problem here. 🙂

And I adored Christopher Walz as August, the (mostly) evil husband/circus owner. I knew him from somewhere and stayed until his name rolled in the credits … then I was like, OMG, the Nazi! And my daughter shouted, “Inglorious Basterds!” Yep. He is just awesome. I see on IMDB that they first cast Sean Penn. I can’t even imagine. Walz was scary perfection as August.

Also, I see on IMDB that Sara Gruen wrote Water for Elephants as part of NaNoWriMo … wow! Pretty inspiring, I must say. November will be here before we know it. 🙂

I tried to Google if “red-lighting” is a real expression for throwing people off a train, or getting fired abruptly, but gave up.

From what I’ve read about circuses, there was nothing unusual about the way the Benzini animals were treated (fictionally) in the film, and this was always why I never went to circuses or took my kids to any. Not sure if things really have changed much. How do you motivate an elephant into performing stupid tricks?


4 responses to “Water for Elephants

  1. I read an interview with her which I found when googling her after discovering her connection to nanowrimo, and she said yes, redlighting was a real expression. Here’s the interview:

    and what she says about redlighting:
    “Well, yes. The reason it’s called redlighting is because — if they like you — they throw you off while the train slows to pass by a railway yard. You can see the red light of the yard and find your way back to town. A courtesy, if you will. But if they don’t like you….”


  2. Wow. We use “redlight” just to identify gating issues.

    I do admit to the possibility that when they throw me off this train, it will be done with a measure of compassion. Small, but.


  3. That Pattinson person looks like he’s about nineteen years old. It doesn’t help any that, having never involved myself in any way with Twilight, I can only identify him as Cedric Diggory from the fourth Harry Potter movie. It’s all a little too Mrs. Robinson for me. I think it would skeeve me out to watch him kissing Reese Witherspoon.

    Love the NaNo connection!


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