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‘The Greatest Showman’ Trailer: Hugh Jackman’s Days of Circuses Past

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What do you get for the actor that has everything, and is done playing superheroes for a while? How about an original musical about P.T. Barnum?

Here it is, the first trailer for The Greatest Showman, a biopic (and musical, apparently) about the life and times of P.T. Barnum, the creator of his famous circus and, in this clip anyway, the inventor of “show business.” Here’s the official synopsis for this presumptive 2017 awards contender:

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

At the Q&A after the recent screening of Logan Noir, Hugh Jackman talked about this movie in glowing terms; it is clearly a passion project for him. After watching the trailer, I’m not entirely sure I share his enthusiasm. I suppose the message is nice, the idea that everyone is different and special because of it, but it’s delivered (at least in the trailer, who knows about the actual film) in the most treacly way possible. It’s also slathered with “inspirational” music and pitched with absolutely the slightest bit of irony or cynicism; Jackman believes that Barnum was the greatest showman who ever lived, and his circus was a pure artistic gift to the world.

Maybe it was! Maybe the movie will convince everyone to feel exactly the same way. I’m not sure the trailer sold me though. The Greatest Showman opens in theaters this Christmas.

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