When Jacob, a veterinary school student, is orphaned during the Depression, he jumps on a passing train and ends up with the circus. He is given odd jobs, eventually ending up in charge of Rosie, a newly acquired elephant. Right from the beginning, he is attracted to Marlena, the beautiful horse trainer and wife of the circus owner. As time goes on, cruelty to animals and cruelty to people by the owner take their toll on everyone. The close knit family of performers and workers look out for Jacob along the way.
This movie is an excellent depiction of the book and was a wonderful watch. There were some 'jump-out-of-your-seat" moments and Jacob's rapport with Rosie, especially when he discovers she understands Polish(what a surprise this was!), is amazing. The depiction of a traveling circus from the 1930's, scenes of the train meandering along to the next town, and Reese Witherspoon as Marlena all add to the appeal of the movie. Definitely a must-see, especially if you've read the book!