Run time: 105 mins
Hugh Jackman steps into the spotlight as 1800s impresario P.T. Barnum in this all-singing-all-dancing rags to riches extravaganza.
2012’s Les Mis was supposed to be the movie that showcased Jackman’s triple-treat talents as a singer, dancer and dramatic actor. Yet somehow it didn’t, his performance fell short. Here debut director Michael Gracey deservedly hands him another chance and this time around he smashes it out of the park.
Born the son of a poor cobbler, Phineas Taylor Barnum longs to rise above his lot in life and dazzle the world. Having conned his way into enough money to start a ‘museum’, he assembles the brilliant and the bizarre of marginalised society, creating a showcase of oddities which draws in the masses – a freak show, which would become the essence of the fairground, circus and showbiz.
But despite his flourishing success, he yearns for something greater, so to garner the attention, and loosen the purse strings, of the upper classes, Barnum risks it all on his chase for recognition.
Questions may be raised over certain exaggerations of his life, but showbiz is showbiz and historical haziness aside, this is nothing short of spectacle and splendour. (research Chris Coetsee)
Big screen Showbiz indeed. Come.