December 20, 2017

R: December 22nd, 2017 | R: 93 minutes | R: PG-13

December is killing me you guys. So many good movies, this year has pretty much been a dud!

I didn’t watch the trailer for this beforehand, I didn’t even know what this movie was about. I don’t like musicals and I wasn’t expecting much.

Man was I wrong.

I saw this movie nearly a Month ago and I think I’ve thought about it almost everyday. It left an impression on me that I just can’t shake.

Hugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum, the man who started the circus. He marries his lifelong sweetheart, Charity, played by Michelle Williams. His life is portrayed very elaborately and I’m pretty sure some things were exaggerated. Along the way he meets Phillip Caryle (Zac Efron) who joins the Circus as a producer and falls instantly in love with Ann, played Zendaya.

The movie has a beautiful message, one that is sang perfectly in a song “This Am Me” by Keala Settle, who plays the bearded lady.

It dives deep into being true to yourself, despite what others say about you or to you. That what you see as your weaknesses can be your strengths, and to never give up on your dreams no matter how unattainable they may seem.

They address diversity and racism, bigotry and passing judgment on others. The relationship between Zac Efron and Zendaya is complicated as she is African American and still considered “the help”, it’s taboo to be seen with a successful white man. The trapeze scene between them was hands down my favorite, I was balling, it was so simple but so eloquently done.

It’s very rare that a movie can posses all the elements that I desire when watching a film. This has it all. The plot, characters, diversity, message, costumes, and of course - the soundtrack, all blew me away.

The soundtrack was incredible, each song was so beautifully executed with lyrics that had meaning. You’ll find yourself saying “I WANT that soundtrack!”, it’s on Spotify FYI.

Also need to mention that the animals are only shown at the end and they are CGI, so obviously much praise. I know it’s a sensitive subject for people, myself included but it was done very tastefully and it doesn’t take away from the film - obviously this is part of the circus so it was accurate to include them.

If you see one movie this year, make sure this is it.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

AshleyK Ashley K. (Contributor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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