Based on the life of P.T. Barnum, the American businessman,
politician, and visionary best known for founding the Barnum and Bailey Circus,
The Greatest Showman is an original
musical starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya. It
was directed by first-time director, Michael Gracey, and written by Jenny Bicks
and Bill Condon.

Although the movie is advertised as a short biography of
P.T. Barnum, the less appealing aspects of Barnum’s life are set aside in favor
of the spectacle and festivity of “The Greatest Show on Earth.” One of the
harsher sides of Barnum that does get portrayed, however, is his appearing to
be inclusive of all types of people while, at the same time, exploiting them
for money. Barnum collects, for his circus, outcasts – people with odd talents
and unusual physical characteristics (a giant, a bearded lady, a dwarf, Siamese
twins). These “freaks” attract a large audience for Barnum’s circus and help
him achieve the notoriety he longed for. Later, though, when those same people
attempt to be seen in public with Barnum, he refuses.

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P.T. Barnum’s lack of integrity aside, my friends and I
loved The Greatest Showman. It’s what
all musicals should be: loud and colorful and filled with music. This film has
11 fabulous, original songs, exquisite costumes, likeable characters, and a
chorus that is freaky and talented. The costumes and set decorations make it
feel like you are actually at the circus. Even though Efron and Zendaya’s
character’s relationship might seem a little unbelievable for the late 19th
century, they sing beautifully and believable as they fly on the trapeze
singing the love song, “Rewrite the Stars.”

The Greatest Showman has received multiple award
nominations including Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture Musical or
Comedy and Best Actor, (Jackman). The movie also has award nominations for
costume design and make up. “This Is Me,” an original song by Benj Pasek and
Justin Paul (La La Land), has been nominated for an Academy Award. Keala
Settle, who plays Lettie Lutz, the “Bearded Lady,” is scheduled to sing “This
Is Me” at the Oscars in March.

Since its arrival to theaters in December, The Greatest Showman has grossed $236.3
million. The Greatest Showman
soundtrack just spent its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

Distributed by Fox – Runtime: 1hr 45
min – Rated PG