Movie Line excerpt from their Water for Elephants review:
By Stephanie Zacharek
Attempted with less skill and integrity, that delicate balancing act might have made Water for Elephants seem insincere: Is it historically responsible to make such a gorgeous-looking movie set amid hardscrabble working men and women during the Depression? But Lawrence and his cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto, hit the unifying truth, as opposed to the contradiction, behind that idea. Water for Elephants is beautifully lit and shot, in a way that links old Hollywood with Hi-Def. Prieto is attuned to every small bit of loveliness in an unforgiving landscape. He picks up on the way sunlight sneaks in through the slatted walls of otherwise dim, drab boxcars; he sees how moonlight might find its twin glow in a white satin dress. At one point, as Jacob shovels that manure, the camera captures a tizzy of buzzing flies in a shaft of sunlight — they’re like tiny, grubby fairies — but I don’t think that shot is a joke or a bit of star-cinematographer excessiveness. Instead, it captures the urgency, the necessity, of finding beauty in unexpected corners. Even flies deserve their fleeting chance at being lit in the tradition of Hurrell.
Click HERE to read the review in its entirety