'The Greatest Showman' Soundtrack Is The Perfect Antidote To All That Holiday Music
The new film The Greatest Showman hits theaters on Dec. 20, and it might just save your holidays. That's because while Christmas movies and music are enjoyable to many, even the most holiday-obsessed people likely get sick of hearing the same tunes over and over. Since the film is a musical, The Greatest Showman soundtrack can offer you respite from the "fa la la la las," as it will replace them with "woah oh oh oh ohs." The soundtrack maintains the holiday season's themes of magic and joy, but it offers a whole new sound to them that likely falls upon welcoming ears.
The new movie's soundtrack, available to buy and on Spotify now, includes a bunch of familiar celebs who you may not get the opportunity to hear sing that often. Hugh Jackman, who plays the film's protagonist named P.T. Barnum, hasn't starred in a musical since 2012's Les Misérables. Possibly more exciting than hearing Jackman's voice return to a movie's soundtrack though, is hearing songs performed by Zac Efron, who plays Barnum's partner, Phillip Carlyle. Efron, you of course remember, previously starred in the High School Musical series, dazzling tweens around the world with not only his piercing blue eyes but his smooth, silky singing voice.
Then there's the hugely talented Zendaya, who sings a duet with Efron, which, yes, has a lot of Disney Channel star power to it. The duo sing a song called "Rewrite the Stars," which is the most romantic track from the soundtrack. Just admit it now: you're going to be totally obsessed.
Additionally, The Greatest Showman's soundtrack includes a song sung by Michelle Williams, who previously starred in Cabaret on Broadway, though she hasn't really gotten a chance to show off her impressive singing skills in movies until this one. Here, Williams plays P.T. Barnum's wife, who leaves her wealthy family to support her husband's dream to entertain and inspire people. He ends up doing that by opening up a circus in New York City, and he fills it with a cast of unlikely characters, including a bearded woman, named Lettie Lutz.
Hawaiian actor Keala Settle plays Lettie, and she has one of the most powerful performances of the movie as she sings the song "This Is Me," about embracing what makes her unique. When the actor belts the lyrics, "I am brave, I am proof I am who I'm meant to be," you most likely will want to jump out of your seat and cheer along with her beautiful statement of self-acceptance.
Because Barnum's circus featured people who historically appeared as "sideshow performers" — like a bearded lady — The Greatest Showman had the potential to perpetuate problematic depictions of marginalized people. Instead, Showman shows the circus story in a more positive light, showcasing the complexities of these performers. Some of the characters in the movie, like General Tom Thumb (played by Sam Humphrey), are based on real people, who grew to fame with the help of Barnum's circus. As the soundtrack makes clear, The Greatest Showman avoids dehumanizing its unique characters, instead choosing to celebrate people's differences in an applause-worthy way.
Not only does the new movie include songs about loving and accepting yourself, it also carries the general theme of following your dreams and allowing yourself to indulge in fantasies. While a lot of holiday music is also about dreams — mostly of presents or snow — the Showman soundtrack will most likely make you feel even more inspired to get out there and claim your place in the world, just like the film's characters do in such spectacular fashion.