The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Detroit, the early 1960s. Curtis Taylor, Jr., a car salesman, breaks into the music business with big dreams. He signs a trio of young women, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James "Thunder" Early, establishes his own record label and starts wheeling and dealing. When Early flames out, Curtis makes the Dreamettes into headliners as the Dreams, but not before demoting their hefty big-voiced lead singer, Effie White, and putting the softer-voiced looker, Deena Jones, in front. Soon after, he fires Effie, sends her into a life of proud poverty, and takes Deena and the Dreams to the top. How long can Curtis stay there, and will Effie ever get her due? Written by
The film was originally planned to be a Warner Bros. release. In the early 2000s, DreamWorks was brought aboard as US distributor, with Warner Bros. initially retaining international rights. When the budget was revealed, Warner balked and left the film, to be replaced by Paramount Pictures. During pre-production, Viacom, parent of Paramount, purchased DreamWorks, making the film wholly owned by Paramount before it was released. See more »
In a scene set in 1965, the Dreams and Curtis are in the studio during the 12th Street riots in Detroit (according to the archival footage), which began on July 23, 1967. See more »
I was looking forward to seeing this film after all the hype in the press and a film with so many awards/nominations must be worth seeing right? Well, maybe i should have waited to rent this one. It starts out promising, great cast, brilliant costumes/make up and a feeling that the film will take you on a journey.
However, half-way through, it struck me that this film could not make up its mind whether it was a musical or a movie. The singing seemed to be confined to the performances of the artists in the film in the first half, but confusingly this all changed when in the second half they burst in to song at any interval. In my opinion it seemed like it was embarrassed to be a musical.
Many of the songs were similar and went on for far too long. The 'argument song' in the middle (you'll know which i mean) was verging on embarrassing. It left me sat in the theatre cringing, squirming and begging it to end.
It's not all doom and gloom though. The film re-found its feet finally, towards the end.
In short I felt the film was good to start, stalled in the middle and went on to a good end. Visually stunning, impressive cast, great performances but loses the plot in the middle.
14 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?