Yes, it’s a movie musical. I cannot remember the last one I saw (“Wizard of Oz”?), but this is the best one in probably a decade. And it is a true story based on the life of the quintessential showman P T Barnum.
From humble beginnings, Barnum (Hugh Jackson) is fascinated by show business. He puts together a bevy of what you might call “freaks” and celebrates their differences to attract customers to a show he orchestrates. Where else can you see a bearded lady with an operatic voice, or a midget called Tom Thumb who rides a white horse symbolic of Napoleon for one thin dime?
After a fire destroys his New York city theater, he puts up a tent on the Hudson river and forever changes the meaning of the word CIRCUS. It brings fame and fortune. To legitimize his show, he entices world renowned Scandinavian operatic singer Jenny Linn to tour the USA under his aegis.
When financial troubles arise for Barnum, entrepreneur Bailey (Zac Efron) loans money for a percentage of the action.
Singing is great. No bad language (PG). Music is inspiring, and a love story is woven throughout the show.
“The Greatest Showman” gets my unqualified A rating. Don’t miss this one currently playing at The Rialto Theater in The Villages.
Jack Petro reviews movies for Villages-News.com