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 the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.
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 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 »
[during "The Deena Jones Story" promo film]
... I'm somebody, and nobody's gonna hold me down... I'm somebody!
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The film begins immediately after the distribution studio logos, with no opening titles/credits of any kind. See more »
Wow. And I thought it was going to be just "okay".
Fantabulous. Stupendous. I can't even believe it. I've changed my pick for Best Picture this year so many times you'd think I have multiple personalities. But let me tell you it's just been a tremendous year for film. Kudos all around. I tell you none of the BP nominees last year, could compete this year. And I loved Brokeback Mountain and Munich.
Dreamgirls is an amazing movie. I know what you're thinking. I didn't believe the hype either. But I saw it today and I actually don't think it's been hyped enough. Everyone deserves to be nominated. But it's just that kind of year, folks. Too many awesome performances not enough nominations. Of course the major buzz has been going to Jennifer Hudson and she does deserve as much praise as she's getting but that's because she's a 15. Everyone else is a 10. So she's better but it's ridiculous how awesome everyone else is. Of course Eddie Murphy's great. He's been in those movies where he plays like 10 fat people, which should have gotten him some recognition all these years, but of course they wouldn't go for that. But now that he's done such a great job here whatever awards he'll get, he'll deserve. And those of us who loved "Party All the Time" are definitely not surprised at his vocal prowess. Jamie Foxx is great again you know, but this time he's playing the villain so maybe that's why he's kinda been ignored. Anika Noni Rose. I don't know where she came from but I loved her too. All great voices. All great performances.
Beyonce. Okay, I'm not a huge fan. She's talented and I appreciated her acting from Austin Powers. Yeah that sounds weird but you could tell she was comfortable on screen and had a lot of fun. I don't generally like the way she and her contemporaries sing nowadays so I wasn't expecting much either way. I figured she'd be passable. But she did such a great job playing Diana Ross. Everything down to the gestures, and the fact that she wanted to lose weight for this, tells me that she definitely took her job seriously. And it paid off.
I think this is rated PG13. I can't remember why. I think there are a few bad words and one quick flash of some drugs. But I wouldn't mind taking a kid to this. Because there is so much more to it that's worth it. In a strange way I thought it would make a great double feature with Happy Feet. So much toe-tapping to be done. People waited in my theater through the credits for Jennifer Hudson's name/image to pop up and they all clapped. That never happens where I live either. Never. And there were little old ladies going "WOOHOO!" after a couple of Effie's songs.
If you like movies, this year go see everything. But make sure that you save time for this one. You're gonna love it.
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