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.
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 pumped up beats, the glamorous outfits, and that Motown sound - YEAH! Something which the film industry's been waiting for since Chicago won a Best Picture Nod at the Oscars in 2002.
The casting is pitch-perfect. Jennifer Hudson is astounding, which keeps you wondering about her departure from American Idol due to insufficient voting??!! That voice, and those emotions pave the way for Oscar glory. Beyonce Knowles, though many critics have credited her as the weakest link in the movie, is far from being weak. Her radiant-glamour and her 20lbs less voluptuous figure, shine whilst "the Dreams" are on stage. She is far from being the weakest link. As Deena Jones, Beyonce has the voice, experience, looks and talent. Eddie Murphy actually acts, and "NO!" -he does not over-act, play multiple characters, or provides unneeded humor- there is a vein of emotions displayed vividly in his character -James "Thunder" Early - from his love between his wife and back-up singer, drug addiction, and winding career. Its too bad, it took Murphy this long to realise his capability and potential in a significant contribution to the film industry. Jamie Foxx - is easily the weakest link. His performance is insipid and it seems like he has been pasted in the scenes to give them attitude and ego-ism. Though its a very Jamie Foxx character, and is pretty much Curtis Taylor Jr. Jamie Foxx's on-screen presence and performance was not good enough. Anika Noni-Rose did not receive the acclaim she deserved. Sure she is the least known in the cast, but her portrayal of Lorell was spot-on, and was as powerful as Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson's performances. Her voice was amazing, and I hope this movie rockets her career.
The music especially the additional songs, gave this movie the final touches. Amazingly directed by Bill Condon, this is one movie, that lived up to its hype. Loved every bit of it.
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