The Greatest Showman Reviewed By Clayton Barnett

The Premise
Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Review
Hugh Jackman and co put on the greatest show in the perfect family movie to get your spirits soaring these Christmas holidays.
I’m a sucker for all-singing all-dancing musicals (La La Land brought me so much happiness) and this infectious number is an instant classic and has already earned three Golden Globe nominations.

Jackman is the ultimate showman and no wonder with his musical pedigree - he won a Tony for The Boy from Oz and is the star of film adaptation of Les Miserable. His enthusiasm is infectious and you know he put his heart and soul into this project.

He’s ably supported from the charismatic cast of Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, but it’s the array of crazy characters starring as Barnum’s oddities that steal your heart. Keala Sette - as the bearded lady – is captivating as she belts out the showstopper This is Me.

That’s just one of the catchy as hell tracks from lyric writing pair Pasek and Paul. The duo behind the songs of La La Land bring you numbers like A Million Dreams, Never Enough and Rewrite the Stars that instantly get in your head and leave you humming them away days after. Aussie music video director Michael Gracey does a solid job for a debut effort - especially the spectacular musical numbers - but it could have been a true Oscar contender in the hands of a seasoned musical director. Say someone like screenwriter Bill Condon, who directed this year’s Beauty and the Beast and Dreamgirls, or Jackman’s Logan director James Mangold (Walk the Line) who was brought in for reshoots.

The Verdict
Hugh Jackman and his cast of oddballs light up the circus tent in an infectious and toe-tapping musical that will delight young and old. But be careful, you might end up wanting to run away and join them.
The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 26th December 2017
Rating: TBC
Duration: 105 minutes
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, Hugh Jackman, Zendaya
Director: Michael Gracey (Debut Feature Film)

The Extras
Zendaya did all of her own trapeze stunts in the film.

In January 2017, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the circus founded by P.T. Barnum, announced they would be closing their doors forever, due to decreased attendance and protests by animal rights activists. Their last shows were in May 2017.
This has been a dream project for Hugh Jackman since 2009.

Hugh Jackman sang a preview of one of the musical numbers on his Hugh Jackman: Broadway to Oz tour.

Rebecca Ferguson admitted in an interview that she was extremely nervous when she had to perform a song in the film because she had to sing in front of a full audience plus all the crew. She commented that it was Hugh Jackman and his encouraging response to her performance that really helped her at the time.

Although Rebecca Ferguson graduated from Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm in 1999, her performance as Jenny Lind will be her first appearance on film as a singer.

The Greatest Showman (2017) will feature eleven new original songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Academy Award winning lyricists of La La Land (2016). From early on in preproduction on the film, the decision was made to have the musical style to evoke more that of contemporary musical genres like pop and hip hop rather than that of a traditional, classical musical style that would accurately evoke the film's 1800s setting. The choice was to express not just the characters' feelings, but how ahead of his time P.T. Barnum was. As Pasek said, "He wasn't bound by the world in which he lived; he wanted to create one."