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Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Greatest Showman (2017)

The story of the rise of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) who brought us the greatest show on Earth, the Barnum & Bailey circus. I'm a pushover for musicals and very forgiving and bend over backwards. That being said, there's only one word for this film ..... dreadful! If you thought Baz Luhrmann's MOULIN ROUGE! was the epitome of the film musical, I suppose you might find something to admire in this abomination. I could easily forgive its trite narrative if the musical numbers were good but every song in the movie is an anachronistic (the film takes place in the 19th century) pop power ballad and not good ones either. I began to feel like I was trapped at auditions for AMERICAN IDOL. I won't even go in the calisthenics masquerading as choreography! When Barnum brings the legendary Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) to make her New York debut, does she sing an operatic aria? Of course not, she hammers us over the head with yet another big power ballad in a non operatic singing voice (Loren Allred dubs Ferguson). The only one who doesn't get a big power ballad is an undubbed Michelle Williams as Mrs. Barnum and I suspect it's because she can't hit the high notes.  There's not a moment in this big bombastic elephant that equals the simplicity and grace of Ryan Gosling quietly singing City Of Stars on the pier in LA LA LAND. If you must, you must but don't say you haven't been warned. Directed by Michael Gracey, who no surprise comes from the world of music videos. With Zac Efron, Zendaya, Keala Settle and Paul Sparks.

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