Magazine article Variety

The Greatest Showman

Magazine article Variety

The Greatest Showman

Article excerpt

FILM

The Greatest Showman

"The Greatest Showman" is a good old-fashioned cornball PG musical that's also a scintillatingly flashy - and woke! - immersion in up-tothe- minute razzmatazz. It turns P.T. Barnum, the anything- goes circus impresario of the 1800s (played with irresistible effervescence by Hugh Jackman) into a saintly huckster- maestro who invented the spirit of contempo showbiz by daring to follow his dream. At the same time, the film takes Barnum's infamous believe-itor- not attractions and makes them over into sensitive, enlightened outcasts, a kind of 19th-century freak-show gallery of identity politics. How piously anachronistic is that? Very. Yet "The Greatest Showman" wants to give you a splashy good time, and does. The movie has something that takes you by surprise: a genuine romantic spirit. …

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