'Water For Elephants' directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) and written by Richard LaGravenese (The Bridges Of Madison County) is based on the number-one bestseller of the same name.  The novel written by Sara Gruen was published in 2006 and spent 12 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

The film takes place during the Great Depression...1930's...a time when people needed desperately to escape their world of poverty...People needed a place where they could experience wonder, magic and even a little danger.  And they found that under...The Big Top.

And so did veterinary student Jacob (Robert Pattison) Jacob is  just about to graduate from Cornell Veterinary College when he gets side-tracked by a tragic accident.

 Leaving everything he ever knew or cared about, Jacob hops on a train and finds himself transported to what seems like a magical place...A place where he can forget all his pain...a place where he can be accepted....The Benzini Bros Circus.

 It's here, Jacob meets and falls deeply in love with Marlena, the beautiful, star performer of Benzini Bros and the wife of circus owner and ringmaster...August, (Christopher Waltz).  August is a man who is charming, intelligent and charismatic.  He's also a twisted, violent tyrant who will stop at nothing to get what he wants..even if it means throwing non essential personal off of a moving train to their death.    

'Water for Elephants is a story of love, hope, redemption, second chances at finding happiness.  This is what I'd call...An old fashioned epic film.

 The movie is different from the book and of course, fans of the novel, may not agree with the changes the screenwriter made...But since I haven't read the novel, I went along for the ride and found it a beautiful one.

 I thought about this film long after I left the theatre.  All the performances were excellent.  Christopher Waltz however, stole every scene he was in...As did Rosie...the wonderful elephant that brought Jacob and Marlena together and gave them the courage to fight for their love and the life they deserved.

'Two Jews On Film' actually (for a change) were in agreement about this movie and gave 'Water For Elephants' 4 1/2 Bagels out of 5.  The film opens in theater, Friday April 22, 2011.