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 »
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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