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 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.
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
After the original stage production proved successful, the film version went through several incarnations. In the late 1980s Whitney Houston was considered for the role of Deena, but negotiations fell through when Houston insisted that Deena sing some of Effie's songs, specifically, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", as well. In the early 1990s, after the success of What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Joel Schumacher was set to direct, with Lauryn Hill set to play Deena and Kelly Price to play Effie. However, after the box-office failure of several other musical biopics, the project was again shelved. After the success of Chicago (2002), the producers approached Bill Condon, who had long considered an adaptation his dream project. See more »
The Dreams' success montage includes a picture of the trio standing on the Great Wall of China. While the U.S. and China had no diplomatic relations from 1949 to 1971 (Washington had ties with Taiwan instead), there were numerous cultural contacts between the two countries in the late 1960's, not least because China and the USSR were having strained relations and China wanted to improve relations with the U.S., and having a famous group like the Dreams in China would have been very possible. See more »
It doesn't take a whiz to know that only a desperate man would drop his pants in living color on national television!
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The motion picture is dedicated to Michael Bennett, the director, producer, and choreographer of the original Broadway production. See more »
Fast-Paced Film, Incredible Score, Truthful Performances, Sumptuos Physical Design-What More Do You Want?
I went to a trade screening of "Dreamgirls" a few days ago and from the first seconds of the film, you can tell that you're in for the time of your life. To put it shortly, Bill Condon (director-writer) delivers the goods with this film. It's most definitely the first of its kind. It moves at a rapturous pace that leaves you breathless and delivers performances that are both subtle and fittingly over the top.
The movie explains plot holes from the Broadway musical and adds many historical occurrences (Martin Luther King Jr., etc.) that gives the film a much more social awareness. Most of the sung dialogue from the musical is replaced with spoken with the exception of a few scenes. The music itself has always been wonderful, and this able cast performs it spectacularly.
The performances are something else. Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murhpy, and Anika Noni Rose will blow you away. Murphy's vocals, though not as strong as his leading ladies, suit his character perfectly and shows a vulnerable side to him towards the end that we never knew he had. Rose makes the transition from a giggly little girl into a full-blossomed woman seamlessly, and Hudson-well, let's just say that any major hype you've heard about her does not do her performance justice. Beyonce Knowles will catch you off guard with her beautifully subtle performance, brilliantly channeling Diana Ross with her musical performances. Jaime Foxx, Keith Robinson, Danny Glover, and Sharon Leal also hand in admirable performances.
I could not recommend this film more. It gives hope AGAIN to the movie musical that "Chicago" revived and "The Phantom of the Opera", "Rent", and "The Producers" almost killed. I can't say whether this film will be the next "Chicago" (I do foresee MANY Oscar noms, including Best Pic and others), I certainly hope it will be. I dream it will be bigger. It is definitely not the next "The Producers". I can say this though: It is the first, and only, "Dreamgirls" that we will ever encounter.
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