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A movie directed by Bill Condon

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Murphy Shines in this well done musical

  • Dec 28, 2006
Pros: Murphy

Cons: Songs can drag on a bit to long.

The Bottom Line: For Murphy alone, this film is a must see.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

The rise of Motown records is one of the music industries greatest tales. Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959 established the record label that not only made stars of numerous talents such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Jackson 5, but helped African American talents finds success in other markets and mainstream radio.

In the film “Dreamgirls”, Director/Screenwriter Bill Condon brings the book and musical of the same name to the big screen with style and energy, and tells an inspired and entertaining story.

Though the names have been changed, it does not take much effort to discover that many parts in the film are indeed based upon actual people, and situations, which only ads to the story and characters, as though seeing a work of fiction, there is some factual basis to what is being shown.

Beyonce’ Knowles stars as Deena Jones, who is the lead singer in a female trio who hope to get noticed at a local talent show. While the group fails to win, they do attract the attention of Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jaime Foxx), a local manager who runs a car dealership during the day.

Curtis takes the girls under his management and soon begins a relationship with Effie, (Jennifer Hudson), as the band begins to get notice. Curtis uses bribes to get the girls played on white radio stations and soon has a hit on his hands and forms his own record label in order for his talent.

While on tour with R&B legend James Thunder Early (Eddie Murphy), the decision is made to make Deena sing lead over Effie which leads to tensions in the band despite their growing success.

What follows is a tale full of love, loss, success, failure, redemption, and laughs as the dynamic tale of the girls and their career is told over the passage of several years.

While much has been made of the singing of Beyonce’ and Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy was clearly the star of the film as he brought a dynamic energy to the film whenever he was on screen. Murphy amazingly blended comedy and music as he performed his own material as well as generated sympathy as the troubled singer, who is trying to hold onto fleeting fame amongst changing times and gives and Oscar worthy performance.

The songs of the film are very well done, though at times, some of them dragged on to long for my taste, and at times hampered the narrative portion of the film.

That being said, “Dreamgirls” is one of the best musical to hit the screen and if for no reason other than Murphy’s performance is must see film.

3.5 stars out of 5.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Dreamgirls reviews
Quick Tip by . March 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Jennifer Hudson is truly amazing.  She steals the movie.  Beyonce put in a good performance, but she looks like the back-up through out the whole movie.  Eddie Murphy also puts in a fine performance.  Jamie Fox and the rest of the cast provide a strong supporting background for the movie.
review by . December 30, 2008
posted in Music Matters
If they were alive today I am quite sure that Rogers and Hammerstein, Loerner and Lowe and all the others who brought us the great American musicals of the 1940's and 1950's would stand up and cheer for "Dreamgirls".  For this is a film steeped in the tradition of those fabulous M-G-M musicals of days gone by.  Executive Producer Patricia Whitcher pushed all of the right buttons in assembling an incredibly talented ensemble that makes "Dreamgirls" …
review by . May 02, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
"Dreamgirls"    A Dream of a Film    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    What can I say about "Dreamgirls" that has not already been said? It is not just a movie, it's an experience. From the moment that the movie starts, you are dazzled by performances with passion, wonderful staging, amazing direction and the costumes...what can I say? It is an emotional spectacle even though the storyline is not new and the clichés are well...clichés but …
review by . January 16, 2007
Pros: Jennifer Hudson! Beyonce, Foxx's acting, bring-down-the-house numbers, costumes     Cons: pacing, Eddie Murphy's character, some duller songs     The Bottom Line: All I want for Christmas is Jennifer Hudson's voice.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. When Jennifer Hudson was voted off of American Idol during the 2004 season, my mother and I were so devastated that we vowed to never watch …
review by . December 31, 2006
Pros: Outstanding performance by Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson.     Cons: Nothng.     The Bottom Line: Can you hear the sound of my clapping, the joyous call of my delighted whistle?     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. There are few movies I have seen this year—and I have seen quite a few—that can measure the emotional fulfillment of Dreamgirls. The movie is after all about music, the …
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Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #114
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


The 1982 Tony-Award-winning musical DREAMGIRLS shimmies its way to the big screen with a stellar cast and undeniable sheen. Set in 1960s Detroit, DREAMGIRLS follows the commercial and cultural struggles of the R&B recording industry, through the rise of the Dreamettes (later shortened to just the Dreams) from backup singers to headlining international superstars. The trio--Deena (Beyonci Knowles), Effie (Jennifer Hudson), and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose)--soon discover the harsh reality behind the glamour of fame and fortune, as the group's controlling and shady manager, Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx), uses them to help build his musical empire and capture his dream of crossing over from R&B to the pop charts. He sacrifices Effie's immense talent as lead singer for Deena's stunning, more mainstream look to sell the sound, pushing marketable appeal over musical artisanship--and compromising the ambitions of his protigis. <br> <br> Since its Broadway debut, DREAMGIRLS has been widely rumored to be inspire...
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Director: Bill Condon
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: December 15, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (May 01, 2007)
Runtime: 2hr 10min1 sec
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