Can Water for Elephants Be the First Great Movie of 2011?

The Internet is popping with loving reviews for Gore Verbinski's Rango, but might Water for Elephants be the first great, no-caveats-like-it's-animated film of the year? If the second trailer for the Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson three-hanky weeper is any indication, quite possibly.

I know: You've probably got fangs knives out for Water for Elephants, if only because of the presence of Edward Cullen and director Francis Lawrence (he of the immortal I Am Legend), but we're now two trailers deep into the marketing campaign for this thing, and it still looks kinda great. Well, it looks good, thanks to Lawrence and his cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (Brokeback Mountain, Biutiful), but it actually seems like a worthwhile adaptation of Sara Gruen's bestseller. Pattinson makes for a winning-but-tortured protagonist, Witherspoon has a great classic movie goddess (not goddesses, Charlie Sheen) vibe, and Christoph Waltz seems perfectly capable of pulling off the mustache twirling villainy that Water for Elephants needs. Considering how bad this early crop of 2011 movies has been -- and how the prospects for March don't look that much better -- isn't it possible for Elephants to be the best film of 2011*? Here's hoping...

[*Through April 22, when Water for Elephants opens.]

VERDICT: Sold.



Comments

  • NP says:

    I hope so. Reese is very talented, but she rarely takes roles to showcase that talent, and this looks like it could be a good one, especially with Christoph Waltz to play against.

  • Kay says:

    As @kmitch1217 said, this is going to be Rob's 'Legends of the Fall', only hopefully with better critical reviews. But word on the street is he's fantastic and should turn the tide of most people's negative opinions about him outside his current fanbase. Those that love to hate on him won't like anything he's in. The quality of this film is apparent, and the marketing has been keen. Keeping my fingers crossed. oh, and his name is Rob, not Edward Cullen. The media perpetuates his connection to Twilight by doing that, stop it!

  • Melinda says:

    Yes, thank you. He's a big enough name on his own. He doesn't need to be identified by a character name. Stop it, please.

  • zooeyglass1999 says:

    I highly doubt a studio will open a "great" movie in April.

  • Marion Combaluzier says:

    next time maybe...just maybe...you could also NOT use "Edward Cullen" when you talk about Water for Elephants. I don't see how one of his character has to do with anything here. I believe people will know who you're talking about when you write "Robert Pattinson", no need to add more.

  • maah says:

    I think Reese is gonna shine in this. I think this movie will blow us away. The trailer is stunning.

  • stolidog says:

    oh those pesky publicists....

  • Andrew says:

    The theatrical version of I am Legend is shit, but the Director's Cut is quite good. Even Lawrence's Constantine is pretty good except for Keanu.

  • Andrew says:

    I would think that normally as well, but this year is insane release-wise. The summer is gonna be a bloodbath. All the blockbusters crowded stuff like this to the fringe dates.

  • BrianSayers says:

    First serious Razzie contender of next year. Rpatz can't act and Reese is like molded cheese. Two hours of them pretending to like each other is more than any normal human being can take. Francis Lawrence is also a hack.

  • spence says:

    This looks great. Robert's acting seems spot on, Christoph is menacing and Reese fragile and classy.

  • carolyn says:

    The "Official" Water for Elephant trailer is beautiful. I have never looked so forward to seeing a movie in my life. Now i know how those younger ones felt (my daughter) seeing Twilight for the first time...Robert, once again you have moved me to tears. You are a wonderful distraction in a very difficult life, and this trailer made me cry, for it has been yet another horrible day being a widow, though my children help, they still need now to be raise alone...This movie reminded me that i have a couple of beautiful hours to look forward to, taking me away from my reality into a magical place were i can be happy.
    What Robert has accomplished as a good actor and a lovely human being, is achieve making others happy. Like a song can move you, Robert has moved me. I think that is what actors & movies, musicians & songs try to succeed in doing. Robert has succeeded in something far more important than another movie role...Thank you Robert, I adore you...carolyn

  • Gail says:

    I believe WFE is going to be wonderful. Give the kid (Rob Pattinson) a break - so he's in the Twilight saga...if you'd read the books, you'd know his acting is pretty spot-on for the character. I hope WFE is an oscar contender just to show his critics. He's gonna be around for a while...get used to it!

  • Betty b says:

    I keep seeing comments about Robert Pattinson can't act,yet he and his co-stars have gotten people to the theaters to spend approx 1.4 billion if not higher worldwide. If that is not making a statement about your acting chops I don't know what will. As for Reese and Waltz they have awards and nominations along with the best in hollywood. I believe WFE will be one of the best movies we will see this year.

  • Sophie says:

    It looks pretty bad to me. The direction is pedestrian and Reese Witherspoon looks miscast. Waltz looks good but it's pretty much ruined by the presence of Robert Pattinson. The guy can't act. When he read some of those lines it made me cringe. He should never have got this role. It should have gone to someone who can act like Ryan Gosling or dare I say it, Zac Efron. I'm not a fan of the guy but he can act. I think this will turn out to be a stinker, ruining the potential of a good book.

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