The Greatest Showman
A-list movie and Broadway composers Pasek and Paul's score for The Greatest Showman, much like last year's celebrated La La Land, is the true star of this fairly conventional story about the rise and near fall of Phineas T. Barnum, of circus fame. The book that ties the dozen or so synth pop songs casts Barnum (a terrific Hugh Jackman) as a champion of society's outcasts (led by Zendaya as a black aerialist and Keala Settle as the bearded lady), at first more as a means to turn a buck but later to challenge high society conventions. Because of this, the show's strongest and most thrilling numbers are the anthemic ensemble pieces, most notably "Come Alive" and "This is Me," which will undoubtedly be adopted as anthems for LGBTQ or other marginalized communities. First-time director Michael Gracey's The Greatest Showman is a dazzling picture in the mold of contemporary Hollywood musicals that will find its largest audience with dreamy-eyed pre-teens from Columbia to Calcutta.