The Greatest Showman - Just in time for the circus to close


#1

A musical about PT Barnum starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya

Directed by Michael Gracey

(In case you didn’t know, The Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus closed forever earlier this year.)


#2

So I’ve seen this Trailer several times now. My friends really want me to see this. They’re also the group that has never really successfully sold me on why plays and the theater is so much better than a movie, I’ve been a number of performances… but the thing is I kind of want to see this too. I generally dislike musicals, but my moving going friends, a few of whom also avoid musicals, want too see this too.

I don’t know what this says about the trailer, that some anti-musical people want to see it but… this looks really good.


#3

Barnum was enough of a character that he could have easily supported an actual biopic. I’m not sure how I feel about turning this into a musical.

Of course, I also see how appropriate it is to make a Barnum movie as over the top as possible.


#4

Isn’t this the movie version of the Broadway musical from the 1980’s?


#5

Oh, I wasn’t aware. That makes sense.


#6

Well I saw it, and I loved it. I should note I generally do not go to or watch musicals. I enjoyed the modern songs in a period piece. I suspect more than few critics will hate it just because the critic is an easily hate-able character in the movie. Visually this is just stunning too.


#7

My girlfriend talked me into going to see The Greatest Showman last night, and I was pleasantly surprised. Musicals aren’t really my thing, so I’d never have gone on my own, but I’m happy to have seen this one. I agree with @Nesrie that the visuals are great - costumes, backdrops, choreography are all top-notch. Don’t think too much about historical accuracy - Jenny Lind in particular is portrayed somewhat unkindly IMHO, and they completely invented Zac Efron’s character and his love interest - but accuracy isn’t really the point anyhow. I’d recommend it to anyone who is into musicals, and even if you’re not it’s a fun ride.


#8

I saw this last weekend as well. What a great movie musical. Jackman was superb, for sure, as were a lot of the other cast.

One thing that got to me though was that when I think of musicals, all of my experience is with mostly older ones. And it felt like the story in older productions flowed much better with the music over the scenes. About the only thing that I can pinpoint is that this movie is more akin to a Glee/High School Musical style approach where you have acting, then it breaks out to a nearly studio CD quality musical number, then fade back into the movie. I just feel like older musicals mixed the characters and story more into the music sung in-scene, not feeling like the audio broke out and was played as full studio production but just played over what was being choreographed on the set.

To compare what I mean I plucked some examples (I realize these are old as hell.) Here’s a fantastic scene from The Music Man. Everything plays into the musical breakout. The set is used and it feels, and probably is, sung right on the set as part of the action.:

Another from the Blues Brothers of all things:

And in comparison, a scene from The Greatest Showman. Forgive the fact someone has overlaid the words onto this:

Note that you see action going on, but it felt like you were sitting in a studio session, not watching a movie. It was … jarring.


#9

I saw this with my daughter (13) this weekend, and she said that she normally doesn’t like musicals because of the sung dialog, but she liked this so maybe its on purpose to cater for today’s younger tastes (or it might be just my daughter).

Anyway we liked it a lot and agreed the only improvement might be to add NPH to the cast ;)


#10

I’ve not heard NPH sing, but Efron held his own I thought. I liked the story quite a bit. As @Nesrie mentioned, it’s visually stunning to watch.


#11

#12

Not bad chops. Strangely it has a 90-ish vibe as though … Doogie Houser grew up and decided to sing pop. :)


#13

I just saw this in the cinemas and wow, it was actually much better than I expected! The songs got me so hooked. I love the number of Zac and Zendaya. Would definitely recommend this movie to everyone. However, PT Barnum was portrayed in such a good light here. Always thought him to be a horrible man for exploiting those people but on the other hand, one could also see it as a celebration of strangeness, weirdness, uniqueness, or shall I say, diversity.