Evelyn GoughIn the Picture
Directed by Bill Condon
In just a few short weeks the biggest night in Hollywood, Oscar night , will see dreams come true for a lucky few. Will Dreamgirls dominate the evening? Its up for the most awards but not the biggie Best Picture. But for talented newcomer Jennifer Hudson, a finalist from American Idol, Dreamgirls has already been her ticket to stardom. As singer Effie White she gets to showcase her powerhouse of a voice in a performance that has already scored her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
Unashamedly based on the story of The Supremes , the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical has been adapted for the screen by Oscar winner Bill Condon who also wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Chicago.
And if you loved the movie musical Chicago you will know what to expect from Dreamgirls. Because this is no Ray Charles-like bio-pic. This is an all-singing , all-performing musical (with narrative) about a trio of gorgeous, talented teenage singers known as The Dreamettes and it follows their rise to stardom during the 1960s and 70s.
Effie White (Jennifer Hudson), Deena Jones (Beyonce Knowles) and Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose) are discovered at a talent quest by ambitious manager Curtis Taylor Jr (Jamie Foxx) who gives them their first big break doing back-up for rock and roll star James Thunder Early (Eddie Murphy).
But its always been their dream to have their own group and as The Dreamettes with Deena up front and songs from Effies brother, C.C. White (Keith Robinson) the girls are soon on their way to the top of the charts.
They say you either love musicals or you hate them but thats not true.
Corny though it is I never get sick of The Sound of Music or Grease. But there hasnt been a musical since then that has caught my fancy, not one with original songs anyway. And Im afraid Dreamgirls is not the exception.
I wanted to love this film, I really did, as I adore Motown and disco and with such a superlative cast I thought they couldnt go wrong. But its the music that makes a musical and the soundtrack of Dreamgirls left me cold.
Now if it had been a true bio-pic about The Supremes featuring their fabulous songs I would have been in seventh heaven.
But thats just me and my own personal taste. Production-wise Dreamgirls is top-notch and like I said, the cast is superb. Eddie Murphy is a knock-out and Beyonce has never looked more beautiful. And considering the soundtrack is number one in the USA, a lot of people love the score. You could be one of them.