From live theater to Oscar host to Jean Valjean, it’s no secret that Hugh Jackman is a remarkably talented and theatrical actor. Well, he’s at it again in the first trailer for THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, Fox’s musical take on P.T. Barnum and his enterprises, which would eventually lead to Barnum & Bailey Circus.
A classic rags to riches story, set to modern, original music from Oscar (La La Land) and Tony (Dear Evan Hansen) winners Pasek & Paul, the movie takes place in the early-to-mid nineteenth century as Barnum (Jackman) dreams of bigger and better things for himself and his family (Michelle Williams plays Barnum’s wife Charity in the film). Teaming with a talented group of “oddities” (including Zendaya as a trapeze artist and Keala Settle as the Bearded Woman) and playwright Phillip (Zac Efron), Barnum launches his first foray into show business.
Rebecca Ferguson also stars in the film as real-life Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind.
It’s hard not to feel inspired by the trailer — although it sometimes borders on predictability, there’s a definite charm and appeal in its genuine earnestness. In a time where cynicism and grittiness run rampant in media, it’s about time we have something that is pure in its hope and beauty, championing individualism and the idea that “every one of us is special.”
Sure to be a hit come awards season (especially in the Golden Globes’ musical/comedy categories), don’t be surprised if we see Jackman scoring nomination after nomination.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor