3 Arts Entertainment, Crazy Horse Effects, Flashpoint Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Paul Schneider, Jim Norton, Hal Holbrook, Mark Povinelli, Richard Brake, Stephen Taylor
Jacob (Robert Pattinson)is a young man with his whole life ahead of him. His parents were Polish immigrants, and though they’re in the middle of the great depression, they strongly believe that if you have a good mind, anyone can succeed in America. As Jacob is about to take the final for his degree in Veterinary medicine, his parents are suddenly killed in a terrible accident, and everything he had is gone. No familiy, no home, no degree, Jacob starts off traveling to nowhere, and jumps a train that ironically belongs to one of the largest Circuses of the era, the Benzini Brothers. He impresses the owner, August (Christoph Waltz) who is one of the most screwed up ruthless villains on screen in recent years, and it besotted by Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), August’s wife. This triangle makes most of the story, along with Jacob love of the animals, especially an elephant named Rosie.
Told in a flashback, Hal Holbrook plays an old Jacob who shows up at Circus Vargas after the show is over on a dark night in the rain and retells the love story which reminds me a lot of “The Notebook” or “Green Mile“. And the story is just as strong as either of these great movies. Robert Pattinson does an amazing job in this film, and is really an awesome actor. I would not have expected this from him, but he was excellent. According to IMDB, Sean Penn was set for the role of August, but was replaced by Christoph Waltz (probably because there was no chance to spout off liberal propaganda in this kind of role) which was good for the film, as Christoph is unbelievable pitiful as a man caught between a rock and hard place, but with no morals or ethics of any kind to make him appealing. He’s a mean son of a gun, and thinks nothing of killing a man instead of paying him. In fact, he’s low enough to have someone else do the killing for him so he doesn’t have to deal with it. He’s a ruthless snake. Reese is pretty as the young wife who is the love interest of both Jacob and August, but she is probably the weakest of the actors in this film. But I don’t think it’s her fault, as Reese is really a good actress, but her role is one of a young wife who is not really in control of anything. She plays the role respectfully and is not a detriment to the film.
The cast of geeks and misfits of the circus are great as well. They really give you the feel of a circus of the 30’s in the middle of the depression. Though not a major portion of the story, the life of the roustabouts and the way they work to separate the rubes from their coin is very interesting. This is the best circus movie I’ve seen in ages, and a fantastic ill fated love story that works it way through to the end of the story where Jacob wants to come back home to the circus that he loved all his life. This is a wonderful movie, and one that’s very fulfilling to see on the big screen!
EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog
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