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Luckylyn

The Greatest Showman (2017)

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I really loved it.  It was visually gorgeous.  The music was anachronistic but fantastic to listen to.  It’s a soundtrack I know I wil listen to over and over.  I know there are historical inaccuracies but it was so entertaining and heartfelt.  I do want to read the book to find out a more accurate history.   

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I liked it to.  Barnum did a lot of shady things the movie doesn't go into, and he sure as hell wasn't as pretty to look at as Hugh Jackman is, but I still loved the movie.

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I quite liked it.  Very determinedly silly much of the time, but I tend to enjoy movies that forego the defence mechanism of irony.

Both this and Spider-Man: Homecoming function as a major advertisement for Zendaya, who I’d previously been familiar with only vaguely as one of the 2010s Disney Channel stars.  She’s got star quality (and looks dynamite in that pink wig).

The songs range from serviceable to pretty good (not sure that any will be included in the next edition of the Great American Songbook, though). The movie looks great, and all the musical sequences themselves work.

Seeing Jackman and Efron’s duet reminded me how rare it is these days to see male stars doing complex choreography these days.

Also rare to see Williams in a role where she’s not miserable the whole time, even if she’s playing the least dynamic role in the show.

Edited by SeanC
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I loved it. It was entertaining and uplifting. The perfect kind of thing for an extended family Christmas Eve event. My kiddos were the ones who picked the movie. They thought  a musical would be festive. They were right. The entire family had fun  

Hugh Jackman is one of the actors I feel like I can depend on and he didn’t let me down. I think he sold his role. Zac Efron reminded me of his more likable High School Musical days than some of the bro movies he’s been putting out. (And I feel better thinking he’s cute now that he’s older.) Zendaya was really good as well. I’ve watched her since her Disney days and it’s enjoyable to see how she’s grown. I say thumbs up! 

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One minor thing that kept bugging me was any time Zendaya and her brother were onscreen, because they must have had different mothers or something, because they don’t look at all related.

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We saw it today (Christmas Day) and loved it.  The critics have not been kind but so glad we ignored them — our entire family enjoyed the movie so much.  We read more about P.T. Barnum and Jenny Lind afterwards — yes, the movie seems to depict their relationship a bit differently than history states.  But goodness, what an entrepreneur and dogged businessman he was — wow.  Our family gives this movie an A.  

Edited by MerBearHou
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it wasn't that the film was almost entirely fact-free or that the breakup scene with Jenny Lind, would be considered libelous had she not been dead for 150 years, that annoyed the hell out of me. It was the fact that his daughters never grew up from the time that we met them until the end of the film, which would have been a span of 40 years or so. 

The music was fine, but I would have liked to have seen a film version of the Broadway show from the 1960s, which was brilliant.

Edited by Notwisconsin
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I just saw it this evening - I loved it! I love seeing original musicals succeed. Of course it's not historically accurate, but it's a great show.

On 12/24/2017 at 9:24 PM, SeanC said:

Seeing Jackman and Efron’s duet reminded me how rare it is these days to see male stars doing complex choreography these days.

Also rare to see Williams in a role where she’s not miserable the whole time, even if she’s playing the least dynamic role in the show.

Agreed on both counts...Williams smiled so much it was almost distracting!

Zac looks so grown up and is really handsome. Rewrite the Stars scene was beautiful.

The CGI animals were a mess.

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Just got back from seeing it.  I thought everything without singing and dancing was a bit dull, but the music was fantastic.  I don't know what the inaccuracies are, but knew there would be some.  I'll have to look into it. 

I'm sure we'll see nominations for Best Song and maybe Costume Design. 

The theater had a decent amount of people in it and they all applauded when it was over.  I think word of mouth might be good for this movie. 

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I really disliked the movie, it was awkward of Barnum presenting himself as the savior of the freaks, cheap sentiment at it’s worst, and the music was sooo power anthem songs one after another.  

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I guess my heart is ice cold!

Kidding kind of.  There were parts that I did like (mainly the music and the acting), but overall, I found it way too schmalzy and sappy for its own good, and was rolling my eyes for over the half of the film.  I knew what I was getting into and was expecting some cheese and feel good moments, but a lot of the dialogue was just so on the nose and clumsy, and, again, I wasn't expecting a hard look at P.T. Barnum and his real life story, but it was getting to the point where they were almost treating him as a saint, who cared for the "misfits" and the "little people."  Even the drama over him being distant with his family all boiled down to a "He was just trying too hard to give them the life he thought he wanted!  His heart was in the right place!!"  Also, they pretty much wasted both Michelle Williams and Rebecca Ferguson here.  Both are way better then the "put upon wife" and "jilted lover" tropes.

Still, I did enjoy the majority of the songs.  While I suspect that "This is Me" is going to be the big crowd pleaser of the group (and get the Oscar nod), I think I actually enjoyed "The Other Side" the best.  Had an old-school vibe to it, and I thought both Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron did a splendid job with the back and forth bits.  All the actors did really well, although it was obvious that Ferguson was dubbed over, which is understandable, because that song really needed a powerful voice that she probably didn't have since I don't think she's a trained singer.

For better or worse, Jackman clearly seemed invested in this and gave a lively performance.  Everyone else was pretty good too, but I think Zendaya was the standout.  She is so going places.

The directing all seemed to lack the polish it needed, so I'm not surprised that not only was this Michael Gracey's first film, but that it was rumored that Jackman's long term collaborator, James Mangold, had apparently stepped in for reshoots.  I wonder if he just wasn't able to make it tighter or, honestly, the original cut was so bad, that it took everything he had just to make it passable.

Edited by thuganomics85
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I enjoyed it.  I didn't love it but it was definitely worth seeing on the big screen for the sheer spectacle.  It made me run to the internet after the movie to look up more information on PT Barnum.  For all his faults, the real life Barnum turned into a staunch anti-slaver and was vocal about it when he went into politics.  I have no idea what Charity was like in real life, but Michelle Williams' version should have had a halo shimmering over her golden hair throughout the movie.  Zendaya was very good.  One of my favorite moments in the movie belongs to her character.  She was uncomfortable standing in Queen Victoria's throne room, surrounded by courtiers, in her skimpy performance costume and there's this moment where she kind of hunches down and tries to draw her little cape more tightly around herself.  I love little character beats like that.  I wish the rest of the performers could have had those kinds of moments to make their characters become more than caricatures.

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I'm a bit meh on the movie as a whole - for all that Hugh Jackman was selling it, I just couldn't bring myself to get invested in Barnum's (not at all accurately presented here) story.

But, on to the real reason why I'm here. So, when Rebecca Ferguson was belting out 'Never Enough', I was completely on board with the notion that she was really singing it. Like, this lady had muscles and tendons in her throat working and flexing all over the place, so much so that I had to check afterward to see if she really did sing that one or not. (Spoiler alert: She did not.) Anyway, first of all kudos to Ferguson because she lip synced the hell out of that. Second of all, it's now my personal headcanon that Ferguson was just caterwauling the daylights out of the song during the filming. I'm infinitely amused by the idea of everyone, including her, having to keep a straight face while she off-key power ballads through it.

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I finally got to see this last night, and I really enjoyed it!  Hugh Jackman was fabulous as always, and Zac Efron was surprisingly quite good.  If Michelle Williams did her own singing, she was the weak link, vocally.  If she didn't, then whoever sang for her was the weak link, vocally.  I liked all the songs, though there wasn't one that kept me humming long afterwards like "City Of Stars" from La La Land last year.

On 1/8/2018 at 2:08 PM, afterbite said:

So, when Rebecca Ferguson was belting out 'Never Enough', I was completely on board with the notion that she was really singing it. Like, this lady had muscles and tendons in her throat working and flexing all over the place, so much so that I had to check afterward to see if she really did sing that one or not. (Spoiler alert: She did not.) Anyway, first of all kudos to Ferguson because she lip synced the hell out of that.

I would have sworn she was actually singing! 

Does anyone know about the stunts?  Did Zendaya really do all those things her character did, or was there a body double/stunt person?  I suspect Michelle Williams did not do all of her own dancing with Hugh Jackman (particularly on the rooftop) -- I never pegged her for a dancer.  Also, it seemed fairly obvious that the giant was actually someone on stilts, since we never really saw him move (a dead giveaway for stilts), and generally his legs were blocked by the crowd.

All of that is nitpicky, though (or impressive, if Zendaya really did all those things!), because like I said, I really enjoyed it and would certainly see it again.

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On 12/27/2017 at 10:47 PM, Shannon L. said:

Just got back from seeing it.  I thought everything without singing and dancing was a bit dull, but the music was fantastic.  I don't know what the inaccuracies are, but knew there would be some.  I'll have to look into it. 

I saw the movie with my two kids, and we all enjoyed it but thought there were a few too many songs. Some of them I really enjoyed--the songs with the circus performers and the great song and dance number in the bar between Barnum and Carlisle, for example. But some of them, though well-done, seemed to come out of nowhere (which is the definition of a musical, I know). And they distracted me from whatever dramatic tension had been created in the scene by the dialogue and action.  

 

24 minutes ago, Browncoat said:

I finally got to see this last night, and I really enjoyed it!  Hugh Jackman was fabulous as always, and Zac Efron was surprisingly quite good.  If Michelle Williams did her own singing, she was the weak link, vocally.  If she didn't, then whoever sang for her was the weak link, vocally.  I liked all the songs, though there wasn't one that kept me humming long afterwards like "City Of Stars" from La La Land last year.

I would have sworn she was actually singing! 

Does anyone know about the stunts?  Did Zendaya really do all those things her character did, or was there a body double/stunt person?  I suspect Michelle Williams did not do all of her own dancing with Hugh Jackman (particularly on the rooftop) -- I never pegged her for a dancer.  Also, it seemed fairly obvious that the giant was actually someone on stilts, since we never really saw him move (a dead giveaway for stilts), and generally his legs were blocked by the crowd.

All of that is nitpicky, though (or impressive, if Zendaya really did all those things!), because like I said, I really enjoyed it and would certainly see it again.

I just saw the movie yesterday, too! I think Zendaya did many of her own stunts. Most of the rope work looked like her face and her body--the upside down tricks, the times the ropes would pull her from the ground, etc. But I think the actual trapeze stunts were performed by a double. Zendaya is a great dancer and athlete, and it showed. And she has more acting range than I expected. I think she and Barnum were the best-developed characters in the movie. 

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6 hours ago, Browncoat said:

Does anyone know about the stunts?  Did Zendaya really do all those things her character did, or was there a body double/stunt person? 

They had her do most of the stunts, from what they've said (I suspect the part where she spins down the rope was a stuntwoman).  She talked about it a bit on Jimmy Fallon (there's some brief BTS footage at 3:55):

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6 hours ago, topanga said:

I think Zendaya did many of her own stunts. Most of the rope work looked like her face and her body--the upside down tricks, the times the ropes would pull her from the ground, etc. But I think the actual trapeze stunts were performed by a double. Zendaya is a great dancer and athlete, and it showed.

 

42 minutes ago, SeanC said:

They had her do most of the stunts, from what they've said (I suspect the part where she twins down the rope was a stuntwoman).  She talked about it a bit on Jimmy Fallon (there's some brief BTS footage at 3:55):

Thanks!  I'm not familiar with her from anything else, but she really stood out in this movie.

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On ‎9‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 6:08 AM, afterbite said:

ut, on to the real reason why I'm here. So, when Rebecca Ferguson was belting out 'Never Enough', I was completely on board with the notion that she was really singing it. Like, this lady had muscles and tendons in her throat working and flexing all over the place, so much so that I had to check afterward to see if she really did sing that one or not. (Spoiler alert: She did not.) Anyway, first of all kudos to Ferguson because she lip synced the hell out of that. Second of all, it's now my personal headcanon that Ferguson was just caterwauling the daylights out of the song during the filming

I read somewhere that Rebecca actually sang the song live while recording that scene, BUT she acknowledged that her actual singing voice wasn't the best for the character she was playing so asked for it to be dubbed.  So I imagine the song was recorded, and Rebecca then listened to it and copied the styling for her live performance for the camera. And apparently it was her choice to sing it live (I think to show everyone involved that she can hold a tune just not the 'operatic' tune required).

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I went on a lark with a friend on a "well, we have a long weekend...why not".  Man, the first stadium stomp with silhouette of Jackman had me!  I loved every moment of the choreography and all the pop numbers.  I can't tell you the last time I walked out of a musical with such a smile on my face (it certainly wasn't La La Land).    I came home after we grabbed dinner and bought the soundtrack.  

I read a great review that talked about how uncool the movie is and why it might be doing so poorly with most critics, but upswelling with audiences.  Basically, it isn't hip or ironic, but nerd-ly earnest in it's old school musical with new music feel.  I totally agree with that.  Clearly it isn't accurate, but I contend that there is undercurrent of Barnum not being a good man in his business dealings and exploitation of people.

And maybe I'm easy, but I adored the surreal visual sumptuousness.  Simple things, like the bedsheets choreographed perfectly with Hugh and Michelle dancing, to more complicated things like the outstanding bar number by Efron and Hugh and the Rewrite the Stars choreography.  I was impressed by Zendaya and I haven't liked Efron more since 17 Again.  

Ironically, I was most moved by June's and Young PT's voices...both not done by the actors in the role.  They were stunning, though.

Jackman is never going to be the best singer, but he's so amazing in every other aspect that I don't even care.  How do you have a year with both Logan and this movie?! That man is pure talent. 

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I find it pretty funny that a movie about a show that is sneered at by critics for being seemingly lowbrow but is beloved by much of the public for being a fun spectacle...is being sneered at by critics for being seemingly lowbrow while being beloved by much of the public for being a fun spectacle. 

I really enjoyed the movie, it was just a really fun ride with lots of likable actors, some good songs, and, best of all, some REALLY great choreography and set design. Thats what really made me smile the hardest. The costumes, set design, and choreography was all excellent, and really invested the audience in the world.

Hugh Jackman is just so likable, I will basically love him in everything he is ever in. Amazing he can go from a movie like Logan to this in such a short amount of time. And Zac Efron has really come into his own over the years. I never thought he was all that in his HSM days (and we are about the same age) but I think he aged into his looked and talent quite a lot. Zendaya was also a stand out, she has a real star quality, and she and Efron had a nice chemistry. 

Yeah it isn't super historically accurate, but its hardly the first bio pic to change things up for the sake of drama, and many of those were still critically acclaimed. It got across more of a feeling of that time and place, instead of the actual facts, which I think works well for a guy whos bread and butter was making crap up for the sake of a better story. The guy might have been a huckster, and engaged in some VERY questionable stuff, but I always respect his hustle. 

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I saw this earlier and I really liked it. Zendaya was my favourite - there was one moment in particular during "This Is Me" when she looks at Zac Efron and directs her lines to him.

I loved the songs, I've had Rewrite the Stars stuck in my head all day

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The music was good (Rewrite the Stars was my favorite, though Keala Settle really starred), but the non-musical bits were really boring.  Not a fan.

The only part of PT Barnum's history that was true was his name, and that he had a wife named Charity.  Every thing else was false.

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On December 23, 2017 at 5:01 PM, Luckylyn said:

The music was anachronistic but fantastic to listen to. 

I was okay with it because I saw what they were trying to do. They were trying to show that entertainment and spectacle transcend time and place, and I thought using modern music was a fantastic way to do that. 

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The movie was enjoyable and the music was entertaining.

As long as you just suspend disbelief about pretty much everything about Barnum's life and imagine it instead occurring in a completely rose colored modern day lens. 

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17 hours ago, Silver Raven said:

The only part of PT Barnum's history that was true was his name, and that he had a wife named Charity.  Every thing else was false.

The only part of PT Barnum's history that was true was his name, and that he had a wife named Charity.  Every thing else was false.

I'm sorry, that is simply not true.  I see so many people criticizing the film for historical inaccuracy and it really makes me think they: 1) have never read biographies on PT Barnum, and 2) have no idea what family musicals are supposed to be like.  There were several things in The Greatest Showman that were historically accurate and some things that were not.  Omitting most of the bad things a man did when he was young does not make a film historically inaccurate.   It just means the film did not want to focus on or mention those things for good reason, since mentioning those things would have caused the film to lose its PG rating and taken away from the joyous feel a family musical is supposed to give the audience.  Why bring up Joice Heth in a PG rated family movie?  Not to mention, a lot of articles I am seeing published online by media outlets are giving false information about Barnum.  Even some of the details they are giving about what happened with Joice Heth are not in line with biographies.  I think the media has an agenda to vilify PT Barnum.  He certainly did some bad things, but he was not the horrible human being the current media is making him out to be.  

Obviously the time frame of things that happened in the musical were not in line with the actual history (Barnum didn't start the circus until much later in life, for example), but there are many things in the movie that are true, and overall, the story in the movie is true to PT Barnum's essence ... and also is the way the real PT Barnum and his family would want his story to be told (and his ancestors are very happy with the movie). 

Here are some things from The Greatest Showman that were historically accurate (and I also distinguish between the things in the movie that were not accurate):    

1. PT Barnum was indeed the son of a tailor and did grow up indigent.  He and his father were certainly disrespected for being "lower class" and his father did die when he was a young teenager.  The real Barnum was not orphaned, but rather, was left to be the sole provider for his family.  However, it was unnecessary to show that in this movie.  PT also really did sell newspapers to make money as a youngster, as depicted in the movie (although he also worked a bunch of other odd jobs).   

2.  While, in reality, Charity did not come from an upper class background as depicted in the movie, there was nothing wrong with the movie's writers taking this liberty because they were trying to emphasize PT's insecurities due to always feeling inferior and like society would not accept him.  The real PT Barnum DID feel that way, and it is easiest to depict this in a 1 hour 45 minute musical if making Charity Hallet upper class and putting tension between PT and her parents.   

3. PT Barnum really did con banks into loaning him money.   

4. PT Barnum and the people in his show really did get to go to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen of England.

5. PT Barnum really was from Connecticut and really did move to New York, as depicted in the movie.

6. PT Barnum really did go on tour with Jenny Lind, really did make her the most famous singer in America, and it really did bring incredible profits to his show.  Jenny Lind really was regarded as being the best singer in the world, she really did come from a less than glamorous background and she really did do charity work as depicted in the movie.  The real Jenny Lind was not romantically interested in PT Barnum but The Greatest Showman is far from the first show or musical to depict Lind and PT Barnum as having romantic interest in each other.  It makes the movie more interesting. 

7.  PT Barnum really did go bankrupt (several times, actually), although it was not due to Jenny Lind causing a scandal and dropping out of the tour. 

8. PT Barnum's museum really did burn down (several times).  One of the times was believed to be caused by protesters who were angry at his anti-slavery, abolitionist stance in politics.  The reasons for the other two times are, according to many biographies, unknown - so I see no problem with writers taking entertaining liberties in having one of the times the museum burned down being the result of people protesting the "freaks." 

9. When PT Barnum went on tour with Jenny Lind, he really did leave Charity all alone.  Even though he and Lind in reality were strictly business partners, he still at times paid way more attention to his show and his need to prove himself and obtain fame than his wife.  He did love her though and would always come back to her. 

10.  PT Barnum really did have the attitude depicted in the movie of, "You insult me?  I'm going to use your insult to my advantage" ... he really did think there was no such thing as bad publicity, as depicted in the movie... and the most important thing to him, as depicted in the movie, really was putting smiles on people's faces (he valued getting rich about equally, lol).  There are several real quotes from PT Barnum where he addresses that. 

11. Although in reality Tom Thumb and Bearded Lady joined PT's show when they were little kids, it was unnecessary to show that in the musical.  When you actually read in depth biographies about Barnum, you begin to realize that most of the people who performed in his show DID NOT feel exploited.  In fact, they adored PT Barnum.  Tom Thumb LOVED PT Barnum, and at one point because of Barnum had even become one of the wealthiest and most famous people in the world.  The real Bearded Lady also loved PT Barnum, and it is historically documented that she did indeed use her place in Barnum's show as a platform to speak out against the public calling them "freaks."  That makes the song "This is Me" very true to the real story.  These people really were hidden away with their families ashamed of them, and they did in reality feel like part of a family while traveling with PT Barnum.  Plus, they were paid.  The line from the movie, "People are laughing anyway.  You might as well get paid" was very true to the essence of the real story.  

12.  The critic in the movie, James Gordon Bennett, was the name of the real critic who was a thorn in PT Barnum's side for many years, always criticizing his show.  The review that was used in the movie was an actual review of the real PT Barnum's show, and the way Barnum decided to call his show "circus" is true to the essence of what really happened.  

13.  Although in real life Charity and PT married when they were around 19-years-old, I felt it was unnecessary to show them marrying at this age in the musical.  In the musical, Barnum is late 30s when he asks her to marry him (when you do the math based on the movie's dialogue).  I see nothing wrong with that because the roof top dancing scene was so beautiful ... the dancing by Hugh Jackman was phenomenal.  Since Jackman is almost 50, they had to make the character much older than 19.  There is no way Jackman can EVER pass for 19, and who the hell would want to see an unknown 19-year-old actor proposing to Charity through dance?  I sure as hell wouldn't and based on audience reviews I've seen, not many people would.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie was Jackman's dance move onto one knee as he holds out the ring to propose. 

The musical was true to their essence by showing a loving relationship between PT and Charity, and the real PT and Charity did indeed have a very long and loving relationship.  They had 4 daughters (one of them died) and there was no need to show 4 daughters because in reality, they had 4 daughters over a long time span, whereas once PT's and Charity's 2 daughters are revealed in the movie, the rest of the film's plot only spans a couple of years max so it is easily plausible that Charity simply hadn't yet given birth to their last two daughters.  

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Really enjoyable movie. And it's cool to see something like this making money the long, slow, and steady way....you don't really see that anymore.

I thought Michelle Williams was absolutely gorgeous in this, and I can see this movie becoming a cult classic like Moulin Rouge did.

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On 1/8/2018 at 2:08 PM, afterbite said:

I'm a bit meh on the movie as a whole - for all that Hugh Jackman was selling it, I just couldn't bring myself to get invested in Barnum's (not at all accurately presented here) story.

But, on to the real reason why I'm here. So, when Rebecca Ferguson was belting out 'Never Enough', I was completely on board with the notion that she was really singing it. Like, this lady had muscles and tendons in her throat working and flexing all over the place, so much so that I had to check afterward to see if she really did sing that one or not. (Spoiler alert: She did not.) Anyway, first of all kudos to Ferguson because she lip synced the hell out of that. Second of all, it's now my personal headcanon that Ferguson was just caterwauling the daylights out of the song during the filming. I'm infinitely amused by the idea of everyone, including her, having to keep a straight face while she off-key power ballads through it.

 

On 1/15/2018 at 12:01 AM, Bill1978 said:

I read somewhere that Rebecca actually sang the song live while recording that scene, BUT she acknowledged that her actual singing voice wasn't the best for the character she was playing so asked for it to be dubbed.  So I imagine the song was recorded, and Rebecca then listened to it and copied the styling for her live performance for the camera. And apparently it was her choice to sing it live (I think to show everyone involved that she can hold a tune just not the 'operatic' tune required).

Loren Allred did the singing for Rebecca. And, yes, she probably was singing when she filmed the scene. That’s really the only way to get lip syncing right. You just can’t move your mouth and get the same results.

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5 minutes ago, Silver Raven said:

I wonder why the boy who did the singing for young Phineas wasn't cast as the actual actor. He had a nice voice.

Insufficient resemblance to a young Hugh Jackman, presumably.  Or possibly he’s not as good at acting as he is at singing.

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I really liked this movie!  It's not the deepest thing ever, and the perfect happy ending was a bit OTT, but it fit (especially with the end quote from Barnum finishing the movie).  Hugh Jackman has talent and charisma, and a way of selling every performance.  Zac Efron and Zendaya have both grown a lot.  I actually thought the movie did a good job of showing Barnum going from rather openly exploiting the "freaks" to make a buck (the way he tells Tom Thumb that "People are laughing at you already, might as well make money from it") to practically conning himself into believing that he had grander ideological goals as he started to invent and believe his own press spin, to genuinely seeing his circus stars as real people that he has grown to love.  

"This Is Me" is an obvious choice to nominate for the awards circuit, with its message and the way it twists "The Greatest Show" into a personal anthem of reclamation.  But, I prefer Million Dreams, The Other Side, and Rewrite the Stars.  I wonder what they'll perform at the Oscars.  Will they really pass on the ratings-bait of having Jackman and Efron perform live?  Or do The Greatest Show segueing into This Is Me?  Or a general medley?

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17 minutes ago, ancslove said:

Will they really pass on the ratings-bait of having Jackman and Efron perform live?

If the nomination is for This is Me, there would be no reason for Jackman or Efron to perform it, since it isn't their song.

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True, but John Legend performed City of Stars last year, over Ryan Gosling, even though the song was Gosling's character's, instead of Legend's.  And in 2013, Les Miserables performed the nominated Suddenly and also One Day More, and even gave Anne Hathaway a quick solo, when her character was dead for both songs.  

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On 1/21/2018 at 9:13 AM, Teresa Mahmoud said:

'm sorry, that is simply not true.  I see so many people criticizing the film for historical inaccuracy and it really makes me think they: 1) have never read biographies on PT Barnum, and 2) have no idea what family musicals are supposed to be like. 

I honestly dont get why so many of the critics are all up in arms about how this movie is "historically inaccurate" and thats why its so terrible. Like, seriously? Is this the first historical movie or bio pic they've ever seen in their lives? Just about every one of them takes historical liberties for the sake of story, including ones that are critically acclaimed and win dozens of awards. At least this one didn't go the way of, say Cinderella Man which made real life all around nice guy Max Bear look like a monstrous asshole to make the main character look better, or take the ridiculous amount of historical inaccuracies in the life of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. And critics actually liked those movies! If anything, those were even more inaccurate! So why is it so terrible that this one took liberties? Because it has a happy ending, and is a feel good family movie? 

If they dont like the movie, thats fine, but the double standard is just weird to me. Its why I really liked the scene between Barnum and the critic near the end. The critic basically said that the show still wasn't to his taste, but he understood why other people liked it, and he could respect some aspects of his show. I thought that was a great little scene, especially on the nature of criticism. 

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Just saw it..and loved the hell out of it..the dancing was fantastic..Hugh was amazing in it....It didn't really need to be deep and ponderous..and when I left the theatre, I was smiling and didn't mind spending $8.50(matinee price) to see it.

I rarely go to movies anymore as I never feel I get my money's worth but this did.....and I swear one song had a banjo riff in it...and that made my heart all tingly!

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Just saw this today ... not sure of the relationship to actual fact, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it immensely.  The music score was amazing.  No matter who PT Barnum was in real life, I wasn't watching a documentary, I was watching a film that was supposed to entertain me, and it did.  The music, the choreography, the story?  It had me hooked and I was mesmerized for the entire performance.  Hugh Jackman was amazing ... Zac Efron?  He grew up!  And this 55 year old thinks he is fine (am I allowed that???)  I am completely amazed and I want the soundtrack, great music.  Great film.

Edited by BizBuzz
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Finally got to see this.

Man, I have to go majorly schizophrenic here to maximize my enjoyment. I have to imagine I'm someone who knows nothing, or at least next to nothing about PT Barnum, and then I can glowingly compliment the production values, music, singing, etc. 

Reality is a bitch, and so was PT Barnum. So I have to work at forgetting what a total shit I know he was.

Also, other than basic facts, like "he founded a circus", "there was a Tom Thumb", "he did marry a woman named Charity" and "he DID tour Jenny Lind around America"... virtually nothing we saw was even close to accurate. And not like a little off. Like totally invented.

But it sounded and looked pretty.

There is a flip side objection. Barnum was genuinely and virulently anti-slavery. A juicy way to show a hero quality in him. And other than him hiring black performers and not treating them badly this movie mysteriously avoided that.  The reason perhaps could be that his show biz career, which went far further back then this movie explains, started with promoting blackface minstrel shows. Oh, he was also a politician for several years. And he didn't start his Circus until age he was in his 60s. And it wasn't anywhere near New York. And... 

Oh never mind. Don't get me started. There's too much.

It DID sound and look pretty!

Edited by Kromm
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I really, really don't understand why they didn't age the daughters. The ballet dance would have been a perfect moment to do that, and I was expecting to pan up and see the daughter a bit older and played by a different actress, but the fact that the daughters don't age means this entire plot is taking place over a year or two at best, which is really hard to believe.

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On 3/5/2018 at 8:49 PM, methodwriter85 said:

I really, really don't understand why they didn't age the daughters. The ballet dance would have been a perfect moment to do that, and I was expecting to pan up and see the daughter a bit older and played by a different actress, but the fact that the daughters don't age means this entire plot is taking place over a year or two at best, which is really hard to believe.

I really hate movies that clearly occur over years, if not decades, and the kids never age.

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"Never in love, never never!"

I seriously wonder how Jenny Lind would feel to know that she gets portrayed as some homewrecker hussy when she never had any sort of interest in him.

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For all the historic inaccuracies, if PT Barnum made a movie musical about himself, this would probably be pretty close to it. 

One reason I can overlook his true life tale in this movie is it can come across, intentionally or not, almost a meta comment on how he was.  Spin the tale however you need to in order to sell the story and keep it interesting.  Its what he did his whole life and what the movie as well does for him. 

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Stunning movie. I cried through most of the musical numbers because they were so beautiful. Considering buying it but I’m worried I will be watching Rewrite the Stars and Never Enough on repeat.

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Finally saw this. I loved the music and on the whole it was entertaining. But in terms of facts, it was to P.T. Barnum what Amadeus was to Mozart. Except that movie got more right about Mozart, personality-wise.

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22 hours ago, twoods said:

Stunning movie. I cried through most of the musical numbers because they were so beautiful. Considering buying it but I’m worried I will be watching Rewrite the Stars and Never Enough on repeat.

You say that like it’s a bad thing! ?

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People have already discussed at length the historical inaccuracy, but I'll just add that the fashions drove me crazy.  Jenny Lind made her American debut in 1850 -- yet in the movie scene, her hair and clothes seemed more early 20th century, as did a lot of the women's fashions.  Meanwhile, Michelle Williams's character was always wearing her hair down in public, something that never would have been done, while several of the men seemed to wear fashions from the 1840s through 1860s.  I know this is a fantasy and the songs are modern, yadda yadda, and I know I shouldn't expect accuracy in fashion when I don't see it anywhere else in the film, but still it bugged.  It looked like it cost a lot of money -- couldn't they have spent it making sure things were period accurate or if they wanted to move it to a later era, making sure the fashions were consistent? 

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