New trailer for ‘THE GREATEST SHOWMAN’ faces the music

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Connor Bynum // Film Critic

Hugh Jackman really wants us to be excited for his new Oscar-baiting musical biopic about P.T. Barnum and the invention of show business. Piggybacking off the tidal wave of critical and cultural praise for last year’s foray into song and dance, LA LA LAND, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN looks be setting itself up to bring the big budget musical back into the spotlight.

In contrast to the first trailer, which only featured subtle hints that this is to be a full fledged musical, this new preview appears to have doubled down on its diegetic moments. Jackman is clearly in love with this spectacular form of entertainment and is sure to give a performance bursting with charm this Christmas.

Another interesting development found in the trailer appears to give a glimpse of the central conflict of the film: Society isn’t interested in a freak show. While the story of a group of lovable outcasts coming together to change the status quo is admirable to say the least, it has evolved to be more of a means of preaching to the choir at this point. Here’s hoping the film doesn’t rely too heavily on the victim card and gives us something that we truly have never seen before, as Barnum so proudly suggests.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the film is shaping up to be far more polished than LA LA LAND in terms of production design. This is clearly going for a more fantastical approach when compared to its rather depressing counterpart. And while we’re on the subject of LA LA LAND comparisons, bonus points to Jackman and co. for not needing subtitles for the audience to know what on earth they’re singing about.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN hits theaters everywhere on December 20.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.

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