Michael Gracey directs Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams in this musical biography of PT Barnum.
You love Hugh Jackman. You love big showy numbers. Then you’ll pretty much like this. It is endearingly old fashioned, spirited and a veritable kaleidoscope of silk and pageantry. Jackman is in his top hatted element. There are at least three belters in the songbook. Conversely though, there’s also four too many songs that repetitively fixate on the word ‘Dreams’, the fascinating circus cast of freaks and talents are way too often mere background dressing, and the middle act loses Barnum and those eclectic wonders for a drippy across the tracks romance between a kid and Zac Efron’s fictional character. You’d rather be hanging out with the sparkling Jackman or stunning bearded lady (played by Keala Settle) rather than wondering whether the relationship is frowned upon for racial reasons or the fact that Efron is playing the twice her (under)age boss? That is sniping though, in the main, this is a shameless entertainer with plenty of heart… which is appropriate.