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The Greatest Showman (2017)

Johnny Angell

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Title: The Greatest Showman (2017)

Tagline: The Impossible Comes True

Genre: Drama

Director: Michael Gracey

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Keala Settle, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Paul Sparks, Sam Humphrey, Austyn Johnson, Cameron Seely, Eric Anderson, Ellis Rubin, Skylar Dunn, Fredric Lehne, Kathryn Meisle, Daniel Everidge, Radu Spinghel, Yusaku Komori, Danial Son, Will Swenson, Linda Marie Larson, Byron Jennings, Betsy Aidem, Damian Young, Tina Benko, Gayle Rankin, Arnie Burton, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Luciano Acuna Jr., Shannon Holtzapffel, Nick Jantz, Jonathan Redavid, Timothy Hughes, Jeremy Hudson, Taylor James, Chelsea Caso, Caoife Coleman, Mishay Petronelli, Loren Allred, Ziv Zaifman, Marko Caka, Isaac Eshete, Carly Adams

Release: 2017-12-20

Runtime: 105

Plot: The story of American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.




This is coming out around Xmas. I’ve seen a preview and it looks entertaining, but I have one caveat. The movie tells how P.T. Barnum invented “show business”. From the previews it looks as if the “opportunities” being offered to the unusual and different among us is a very positing thing and fulfilling for them.

I’ve grown up thinking of Freak Shows as degrading to the participants. Yes it offered them employment opportunities and perhaps provided a community for the different amongst us. It seems to me that Freak shows exploited and degraded these people. Based on the preview the movie is presenting the situation in the most positive light.

Assuming I’m right about the movie, am I right about the Freak Shows? I’m going to have a hard time watching this movie if it’s telling a big fat lie.

Note that I’m not assuming the movie is getting it wrong, just suspecting it.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I was born in the hospital that Barnum founded and from the city he was mayor of and where he's buried. Matter of fact, before my birth, my family lived in an apartment complex named after Barnum. I'm not a huge fan of musicals, but I will see this because of the subject matter.

In my youth, I spent many summer days walking pass this statue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._T....Seaside_Park,_Bridgeport,_CT_-_April_2016.JPG
 

GlennF

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I love musicals and the previews on-line for this has got me pumped. And the people can actually sing! I hope I am not disappointed.
 

Malcolm R

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I generally avoid anything "Based on a true story/events". If I want to know about such events, I read a book or find a documentary. I don't need to see the Hollywood-ified version of the story.
 

Johnny Angell

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Define "big fat lie". Hollywood routinely distorts, embellishes, and flat out ignores historical fact.
Actually, I was hoping someone would correct me and say that Barnum and his freak shows really were a positive thing for the unusual folks.
 

GlennF

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Starting to worry about this movie. I had hopes, but here it is Tuesday, it opens tomorrow, and still not one review on Rotten Tomatoes. That means there is some sort of embargo which usually means trouble. This is the kind of movie that needs good reviews to have a chance of making any money.
 

Jake Lipson

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Is there an embargo, or did they simply not hold critics screenings? Either way, I agree this spells trouble.
 

RobertR

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I saw a brief preview during the Christmas Story telecast, and it didn't look interesting.
 

Jake Lipson

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And yet despite a lack of buzz and the curious withholding of reviews, this received a Best Musical/Comedy Golden Globe nomination over this year's earlier musical, Beauty and the Beast, which should have had one.
 

Malcolm R

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And yet despite a lack of buzz and the curious withholding of reviews, this received a Best Musical/Comedy Golden Globe nomination over this year's earlier musical, Beauty and the Beast, which should have had one.
Probably because the names are "bigger" in this film than BATB. The HFP would rather have Hugh Jackman and Michele Williams at their party than Dan Stevens and Emma Watson.
 

Jake Lipson

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A friend of mine who is a critic informs me that per instructions from Fox, there is an embargo on reviews for Greatest Showman until sometime tonight.
 

Jake Lipson

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The Wednesday release is kind of odd. Usually the goal around that is for word-of-mouth to spread heading into the weekend, but that won't work to their advantage if the movie is bad, and embargoing it that late certainly suggests Fox did not expect to have much critical support.

As of this writing it's 46%, which certainly could be better but could also be a whole lot worse.

I expect I see this at some point over the weekend.
 

benbess

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Owen G. of Variety gave it a good review, and often my tastes match up with his....

http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/the-greatest-showman-review-hugh-jackman-1202644784/

Film Review: Hugh Jackman in ‘The Greatest Showman’
A wholesomely enraptured musical about the life of P.T. Barnum turns out to be a crowd-pleaser in the best sense: It's a concoction that soars.
By Owen Gleiberman

The Greatest Showman” is a good old-fashioned cornball PG musical that is also a scintillatingly flashy — and woke! — immersion in up-to-the-minute razzmatazz. It takes the life of P.T. Barnum, the anything-goes circus impresario of the 1800s, who is played with irresistible effervescence by Hugh Jackman, and turns him into a saintly huckster-maestro who invented the spirit of modern showbiz by daring to follow his dream. At the same time, the film takes Barnum’s infamous believe-it-or-not attractions — Tom Thumb, Dog Boy, Tattoo Man, the Bearded Lady — and makes them over into sensitive enlightened outcasts, a kind of 19th-century freak-show gallery of identity politics....."

more at the link
 
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