One of the biggest movies this year, and kind of a sleeper one at that, was The Greatest Showman. A story about P.T. Barnum and a group misfits who band together to create one of the most iconic shows (and one of the most epic musicals of modern film), the movie didn't receive amazing reviews at first but has since won the hearts of many. This is thanks to the amazing soundtrack, with one of the fan favorites, "This Is Me," being nominated for Best Original Song at the 90th Academy Awards. Keala Settle's The Greatest Showman performance of "This Is Me" really did bring down the house.
The original musical is one of the best since 2001's Moulin Rouge! and has a cast of standouts including Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya. Again, it started out as a critically disliked film, with one critic on Rotten Tomatoes saying, "The Greatest Showman tries hard to dazzle the audience with a Barnum-style sense of wonder — but at the expense of its complex subject's far more intriguing real-life story." However, as another writer in Variety states, some critics disliked the movie due to it being so unabashedly "uncool" in its unironic feel-good nature.
With all that aside, it has become a favorite among movie-goers and for good reason. The soundtrack has incredible songs that are almost all favorites, all written by the duo behind the musicals Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. "This Is Me" has become a song for many who have felt like outcasts, making it the perfect anthem for many teens and young people alike, and at the Oscars, Keala Settle sang her heart out, making any fan truly proud.
Settle, who plays Lettie Lutz the beared lady in the film, took the stage and sung the song under a spotlight. She had many backup singers of all ages. She became emotional near the end of the song and sang it with so much emotion it was hard to not tear up during her performance. It's safe to say that she may have been the best of the night. Naturally, Twitter was very emotional about Settle bringing the house down.
It was such a moving time of the night for anyone rooting for the underdogs or those who may have been underrepresented. Jordan Peele wasn't naturally a shoo-in to win for Best Original Screenplay, considering that it was reported some Oscar voters refused to even see his film, Get Out. So having Settle's performance following Peele's win felt especially fitting for viewers. Even more so, knowing that Settle's whole song is about overcoming all the bad stuff life has thrown at you and rising on your own terms made it so much more special.
The tweet is true. Keala Settle originated the role of Becky in the Broadway musical Waitress and has so much power behind her voice, only compounded by the sheer significance of a song like "This Is Me."
Also, if Viola Davis is vibing this hard to your performance, you must be doing something right. And that standing ovation? It's something that'll make anyone cry: audience members, people at home, and Settle herself took a moment to show some of that emotion around her first Oscar performance.
Also, the body diversity that Settle represented was something so many want to see more of on that Oscars stage and in primetime television.
There really is something special about seeing an accomplished woman like Settle, with this major role and important nomination. Body diversity is so important for women and men everywhere, and seeing that on such a global stage as with the Oscars is truly special. All in all, Settle really did an amazing job and despite the tune winning the Best Original Song category, the performance a win for fans of the film. Settle's career is just getting started.