by Jen

-Directed by: Bill Condon

-Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy

Two things surprised and delighted me about this movie: 1. Beyonce Knowles, while being one of the most powerful voices of our generation, is a truly gifted actress. and 2. Jennifer Hudson is, at least in my mind, far and away more talented than the folks at American Idol gave her credit for being. (Take THAT Simon Cowell.) With that being said, let’s talk about this movie.

Dreamgirls is the story of three friends who have sung together since they were kids, and their dream is to make it as professionals and as friends. When they’re given an opportunity to sing back up for James Early, played with remarkable style by Eddie Murphy, they jump at the chance because they correctly see this as an opportunity for more things. The problem is that the road isn’t exactly the smoothest path, and success can fracture friendships. The girls wind up romantically entangled with men who don’t always have their best interests at heart, and the group and the individuals involved wind up changing in ways they could never have imagined.

This is a special film with the cast each having moments of personal glory. Knowles is subtle, and has clearly watched the work of her more experienced co-stars with remarkable results. It’s no surprise the camera loves her, but you’ll also find yourself connected to her on a personal level which was what garnered her a recent Golden Globe nomination. Hudson, meanwhile, is powerfully gifted as she stands up for herself in both word and song. For her performance, she was honored with a Golden Globe award and it’s very easy to see why.

What you should know is there are some strong issues tackled in this movie. Race, which was a common factor during the period of the movie, is a prevelant topic as is what would now be termed sexual harassment. While the language can be a bit coarse, the movie’s strength is it doesn’t shy from some fairly hard-core topics but handles it with a class that I can respect.

Overall, if you love musicals, you’ll fall in love with Dreamgirls. Both the movie and soundtrack are first rate and I’m making an early prediction for it to be nominated in several categories for the Academy Awards.

-Jenn Untch
Liberty, Missouri
Is there a movie you’d like me to review? Let me know!

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