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.
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
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.
Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
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,
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
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
When Curtis tells the girls that they're going to be their own act, he says that he's gotten Jolly Jenkins to do their choreography. It's a reference to the famous tap dancer Cholly Atkins, who did most of The Supremes's choreography. See more »
During the success montage, the Dreams' "Dreamgirls" single is shown climbing up Billboard magazine's "Top LP's" albums chart, not its "Hot 100" singles chart. See more »
Curtis Taylor Jr.:
Who was the first artist to sing "Hound Dog"?
Curtis Taylor Jr.:
Big Mama Thorton. She had the number-one single on the R&B charts, but the white stations wouldn't play it, because to them it was just another race record.
See more »
The original 1981 "Playbill" cover for the Broadway version of "Dreamgirls" is displayed during the end credits just before the names of the show's Broadway creators are featured. See more »
In 2017, Paramount released a "Director's Extended Edition" of "Dreamgirls." This version runs ten minutes longer than the theatrical version and contains changes which include the following:
The opening talent show scene has extended performances of "I'm Looking' for Something'" and "Goin' Downtown," including a longer scene on the stairs outside the Detroit Theater, where Curtis offers Marty a cigarette and a sales pitch after Charlene and Joanne walk out on him, and Curtis catches a first glimpse of Deena
Sung dialogue leading up to "Steppin' to the Bad Side" ("You've got me to think for you now...") proceeds the scene in which Curtis tells Wayne and CC of his plan to sell off the car dealership, similar to the lead-up to the song in the original Broadway show. This scene takes the place of the shorter, spoken word alternate version used in the theatrical version
All shots of Wayne enacting Curtis' payload plans at radio stations are replaced with scenes of the Mafia members Curtis makes a deal with distributing the records and the money
The Jimmy & the Dreamettes performance section go "Steppin to the Bad Side" is extended
"Love You I Do" is extended by adding an instrumental break under the scene in which Michelle gets a job at Rainbow Records, and then showing Effie sing the song's second verse on camera
"Heavy" is extended by adding a break and a chorus, and placing more emphasis on Effie keeping an eye on Deena's image taking over the TV studio monitors
There is an extra shot of Curtis and Deena's mansion as Deena heads to the service car outside
An extra scene shows Curtis, C.C., Wayne and other Rainbow executives at a board meeting, at which Curtis decides to finance his "Cleopatra" film pet project with a 10th anniversary special (This scene includes two F-bombs by Jamie Foxx; the Director's Extended Edition is unrated as a result)
"Patience" is extended by adding extra choruses to the section in which Jimmy and Lorrell record the song, accompanied by a choir
"Perfect World" is extended by including a full verse and chorus
"I Meant You No Harm" and "Lorrell Loves Jimmy" are both extended by a few bars
Jimmy's silent glare at Deena basking in her fame at the Rainbow 10th anniversary TV special is replaced by sung dialogue ("Because I was here long before you...") similar to the "Firing of Jimmy" scene in the original Broadway show
"I Miss You, Old Friend" is extended by a few bars
"Effie, Sing My Song" - sung dialogue in which C.C. and Effie reconcile - is added in place of the spoken word alternate version used in the theatrical version
"One Night Only" is performed in full (only half is used in the theatrical version). At the conclusion of the song, Curtis' Mafia associates come to Effie's performance in Max Washington's bar, which is how they get word (and a tape) to alert Curtis
Curtis has an extra line of dialogue when being interviewed on the Dreams' farewell performance red carpet, in which he announces that his new artist, Tania Williams, will be releasing her debut album in a month
It's a crowd-pleaser all right, and I usually object to those. But I have to say, this member of the crowd was rather pleased with the film. It's nothing deep, I'll say right off the bat. It's no cinematic masterpiece that will be a beacon for films to come. What it is, however, is an absolute ball. It's the only film I think I've ever seen that really captures the experience of seeing a great musical in the theater. It's fun, it's rousing, and it just made me feel good. The music is outstanding and surprisingly comes off as stuff that might really have been recorded during the eras depicted, with maybe just the right tinge of Broadway to them. The vocal performances are just outstanding. Of course by now everyone knows the standout is Jennifer Hudson, who will be unstoppable at the Oscars this year. Her acting is quite good, but she'll win it for the singing. I would also be perfectly happy to see Eddie Murphy take home a statuette. He's excellent in both comedic and dramatic moments. Much of the rest of the cast is good, too, including Beyoncé Knowles and Anika Noni Rose. The story is of course based on that of the Supremes, and in that way, I felt a little Susan Alexander Kane / Marion Davies situation going on with Deena Jones / Diana Ross. While the Dreams are supposed to be only like the Supremes, the film kind of does imply that Ross was not an extremely talented singer, which is of course patently false. Anyway, small quibble. No, Dreamgirls is no masterpiece, but I like it about as much as I liked Chicago, probably a tad more, and I wouldn't be too ticked off if the Academy went with it for Best Picture. I do prefer it slightly to The Departed. I just don't think Scorsese's fourth best movie about organized crime should be crowned. Definitely recommended, as long as you know what you're getting into.
56 of 113 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this