Director's Cut, Director's Edition
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Director Bill Condon brings his creative vision to life in this Director's Extended Edition! With stunning performances by a star-studded cast, Dreamgirls is the story of three singers who learn anything is possible when you fight for your dreams.
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The late Michael Bennett, who created the original Broadway production, said himself in 1981 that the musical was BASED on the Supremes story, but it was not necessarily the SAME story. I was fortunate enough to see the original stage production back in the day and being a fan of Motown music, I KEPT THAT FACT IN MIND. If you had allowed yourself to do the same, whether or not you had seen the Broadway musical, then you might have enjoyed the film a little bit more. The screenplay very much plays on the similarities between what really happened with Motown, and I admit it annoyed me to a small degree (especially the knockoff Jackson 5 group and the Beyonce-as-Deena montage - felt like I was watching "Mahogany"), because the Broadway production didn't do this.
Deena's character was rewritten from being the bitchy Diana Ross-like lead singing diva in the Broadway production to being another innocent, sympathetic victim of Curtis' power plays - perhaps to not make Beyonce (who tried hard to channel Ross here) look like the bad guy to her fans. But I can't see how anyone could discount the outstanding performances of Eddie Murphy as a fading, womanizing, drug-using R&B star, Jimmy "Thunder" Early (who seems to be a composite character of James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson) and Jennifer Hudson as the strongwilled and talented but wronged diva Effie White (whose character was based on original Supreme Florence Ballard) - they deserved every accolade they've received for their roles.
This is clearly Eddie Murphy's finest role, and shows that he can also excel in drama as well as he does in comedy. Newcomer Jennifer Hudson came to the public's attention through the TV talent show, "American Idol" a couple of years back and she is excellent as Effie. Her rendition of "Dreamgirls'" signature song, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is certain to make her as famous as the original Effie in the Broadway production, powerhouse vocalist Jennifer Holliday, made her.
Anika Noni Rose was also a highlight, and I just loved her bubbly enthusiasm in the role of Lorrell. It was good to see Danny Glover on screen again, and Keith Robinson as C.C. White was a delight. Jamie Foxx (playing the villain in the role of Curtis Taylor, Jr.), and Beyonce (who really can't act - just because she's been cast in movies doesn't mean she has the skills) are just there - nothing really special in their performances and in all honesty, anyone else could have played their parts and we would not have been deprived of anything.
I did enjoy this movie, and yes, it has its flaws. But I personally don't give two hoots in hell what Berry Gordy, Jr., Smokey Robinson, and Diana Ross say. If they are so concerned with accuracy and really want folks to know the TRUE story of Motown, warts and all, perhaps they should all work on something that will set the record straight, once and for all, to counter what was presented in "Dreamgirls" - instead of whining "That's not how it was" and writing tired books that sugarcoat the whole experience. But it's a sure bet that a tell-all will never come to pass, because among other things, it means Gordy and his greediness would have to be revealed as the primary reasons why so many acts from Motown's golden years died in poverty.
I love the music and singing in the movie and it is not lip-synced like some movies. I thought it was well made and a very, very good movie
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An altogether maudlin story is etched together nicely mostly due to the great music and outstanding performance by Jennifer Hudson.Read more