Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Jennifer Hudson Is Everything You've Heard
2006-12-29 16:45
by Jon Weisman

When Jennifer Hudson leans her head into the crook of Jamie Foxx's neck, into the man who is the source simultaneously of her security and anxiety, with a delicate, surrendering close of her eyelids, Dreamgirls gives us as perfect a movie moment as there has been in 2006.

And that's not even the Hudson moment people are talking about.

For weeks and weeks, I have been hearing about the astonishing performance Hudson offers as Effie White, highlighted by her showstopping "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," and all I can tell you is that it's true. It may or not be the best supporting actress performance of the year, but it is powerful powerful, and it proves that by far the most worthwhile thing American Idol has done is enable the big screen to discover her.

Judging by the unabashed mid-movie ovations Hudson received this afternoon at a garden-variety afternoon showing of the film, others were convinced as well.

Dreamgirls is a bit stagy at times, but it builds strength as it goes, and the talent across the board does well, well, in support of Hudson.

But I think l'll be remembering that head tilt for a long time to come.

2007-01-01 12:14:24
1.   Andrew Shimmin
Is the music as a whole better than the music in the trailer? I'm not sure I'm willing to sit through two hours worth of a Broadway re-interpretation of Motown.
2007-01-01 14:35:55
2.   Jon Weisman
I would say the music is a little uneven but overall the movie experience was worth it.
2007-01-02 10:35:46
3.   dzzrtRatt
Andrew, I saw the movie and I can tell you this:

1) The music that is supposed to be Motown is terrible; but

2) That problem is a small blemish on a superb movie.

Not just Jennifer Hudson, but Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover and, yes, Beyonce, all give great performances. Murphy in particular does a brilliant job as an actor and a singer. This film opens up a whole new career for the old SNL comic, if he wants it.

I think the performances and the filmmaking style are so exciting, the movie's flaws are completely overwhelmed.

If you're a true Motown fan -- for example if you've seen the Funk Brothers documentary -- you realize it would be unfair to expect anyone to replicate the genius of those songs and their arrangements. So the songwriters of Dreamgirls didn't waste their time trying. They put their energy into writing good (not great) Broadway songs for the scenes between the characters, especially the "I am Telling You..." number, which is more like an opera scene than a pop song. I can't even remember the melody, but I was thrilled and chilled when it was happening on screen, and that's what counts.

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