The Greatest Showman (2017) Movie Review

Director: Michael Gracey
Writers: Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon
Music: John Debney, Joseph Trapanese; Lyricists: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Keala Settle, Sam Humphrey

The Greatest Showman is inspired by the story of how America’s P.T. Barnum rose in social ranks to create the Greatest Show on Earth – his circus of human oddities and curiosities – with the love and support of wife Charity (Michelle Williams) and daughters Caroline and Helen (Austyn Johnson and Cameron Seely, respectively).

You’ll be treated to excellent acting by all, dialogue transitioned seamlessly into snappy and emotionally laden songs, and wild and joyful choreography, including a well-executed aerial dance with Zendaya and Zac Efron.

There is nothing not to like in this masterful musical. The lyricists are Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also wrote for “La La Land”, a film I absolutely detested (an incompetent film musical on all levels). Their showstopper song this time around is “This Is Me” which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Overall, the decision of the filmmakers and music composers to update the film’s setting from the mid 19th century with the use of pop/hip hop style music to tell this story was one that sends this film over the top. Bravo to them all.

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