Alright, let’s get the harsh stuff out of the way first. This film is NOT about the life and times of the self-made 19th-century showman, entrepreneur, and civil rights activist, Phineas Taylor Barnum. The Greatest Showman is a romanticize “follow your dreams,” movie musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum’s superego; specifically focusing on Barnum’s creation in a little venture that would eventually become the world-renowned Barnum & Bailey Circus. Now if you’ve paid any attention to the film’s marketing, you might’ve gathered that historical authenticity has been not so subtly replaced with a brand of magical realism common in many musicals of Hollywood. The “twist,” (I suppose) is that while the film takes place in the late 1800’s, the music and dance is anachronistic with an emphasis on a more contemporary arena rock/pop music sound. In many regards, The Greatest Showman is almost identical to Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie musical, Moulin Rouge! (2001), except for the fact that The Greatest Showman is good. Director Michael Gracey has made a wonderfully shot and brilliantly executed cinematic cabaret of charismatic actors, mellifluous vocalists, and ebullient dancers. This production is one of those rare occasions where the film’s alteration of its source material both heightens the viewing experience but also contributes to the ideals and vocations of P.T. Barnum. The Greatest Showman may be leaning more towards the “fictional” end of historical fiction, but it’s still an impressive feat of cinematic entertainment that’s sure to instill a feeling of childlike wonderment in your heart long after the credits stop rolling.