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.
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."
Jean François Heckel,
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 story for both the film and the original Broadway musical, is based heavily on the real life occurrences of the Motown recording group, The Supremes. (Later known as, "Diana Ross & The Supremes") Curtis Taylor Jr. represents Motown Founder Berry Gordy Jr. Both men worked in the automotive industry before focusing on music and implemented aspects of the automotive business into the music making process. They were also romantically involved with the lead singer of the most successful female group on their label (whom they themselves appointed, over the initial "powerhouse" voice of the group.) Also Effie's departure from the group and the reasons why, are for the most part true of the founding Supremes member Florence Ballard, who was known to have a much more powerful voice than Diana Ross. See more »
When Deena and the girls perform the disco version of 'One Night Only', the stage backdrop is made up of computerized moving head lights, a technology that was not invented during the period depicted. See more »
Effie Melody White:
Tell me something, Curtis. Do you think it's right to promote an amateur performer over a professional?
Curtis Taylor Jr.:
I'm not sure what this is about...
Effie Melody White:
It's about fairness, Curtis. It's about people paying their dues. Isn't that what you keep telling me? "Get in line, Effie. Wait your turn". So why am I sitting here without so much as a B-side on a 45, when an amateur like Martin Luther King Jr. gets his own freaking album? I mean, can he even sing?
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The motion picture is dedicated to Michael Bennett, the director, producer, and choreographer of the original Broadway production. 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.
13 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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