This movie has its moments. You really do step into the old world charm of the circus during the Great Depression. The various acts are showcased including the lions, tigers, clowns, horseback riders and all the rest. Unfortunately when the film lays bare the ugliness of its owner, August, who in the course of the film beats an elephant bloody and blackens his wife’s eye, well…the charm quickly goes out the door. A young man raised by veterinarians, Jacob (Robert Pattinson) is hired for his skills and in the hope he can save a badly hurt horse. He suggests it be put down and when the owner refuses Jacob takes matters into his own hands. His honest and direct personality draws August’s wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) to him and they begin an affair. When August learns of it he is determined to end it however he can. When it looks as if all hope for the circus is gone after the death of the star-attraction, the horse, the owner finds an elephant but becomes impatient with him until Jacob learns the secret of how to get the elephant to perform.
The characters and their trials and hopes are what made this an interesting watch for me but I am sad to say that due to language and the affair in the movie we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this picture.