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.
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") For some examples, 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 the 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 »
While adjusting her outfit backstage during the Detroit Theater Talent show, Effie is shown adjusting her wig. In the very next shot, it is perfectly in place. See more »
Effie Melody White:
And I am telling you/ I'm not going./ You're the best man I'll ever know./ There's no way I can ever go./ No, no, no, no way... / No, no, no, no way I'm living without you./ I'm not living without you./ I don't want to be free./ I'm staying, I'm staying,/ And you, and you,/ you're gonna love me.
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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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