First of all a really good story line, with solid performances from the leads Reese Witherspoon as Marlena, Robert Pattinson as Jacob, and Christopher Waltz as August.
Its funny how sometimes you are drawn subconsciously to films with the same actor in them. I recently watch Twilight, just to see what the phenomenon was all about, and then I picked up this one not realising Robert Pattinson was in both. He has that certain something of a screen presence: be it as the Edward Cullen, the vampire at school or Jacob Jankowski, the young naive child of Polish immigrant parents and would be vet. However the performance that drew me was that of Christopher Waltz as the effervescent, somewhat demonic showman struggling to keep the show on the road or more accurately the rails, dishing out cruelty to animals and performers alike, whilst being besotted by his wife as she and the young Jacob fall in love, brought together by their mutually caring for the animals. The story of Jacob’s falling in love with the circus and with Marlena is told Titanic style as Jacob the old man (Hal Holbrook) recants the untold story behind a circus disaster from 1931 to a young big topper.
I did not know the director at all and was surprised to find he is a music video director and has made only a handful of feature films. Impressed by this rendering which brought back memories of circuses coming to town as a child I have made a mental note to check out his others
ashramblings verdict 4* A polished (no pun intended) rendition of a good story. Highly recommended
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