Friday, April 9, 2010

Dream On

Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx
Released: 12/25/06
Viewed in theaters: 1/04/07

Oscar nominations:
Best Supporting Actress - Jennifer Hudson (won)
Best Supporting Actor - Eddie Murphy (lost to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine)
Best Art Direction (lost to Pan's Labyrinth)
Best Costume Design (lost to Marie Antoinette)
Best Sound Mixing (won)
Best Original Songs - "Listen", "Patience", and "Love You I Do" (lost to "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth)

Dreamgirls could probably be best described as a music biopic musical. This was my second viewing of it and I had the same reaction to it as my first: I loved the first half, but after Jennifer Hudson's Effie belts out And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, the film seems to lose its steam and drag on a bit. While the first half focuses more on Effie, the second half focuses more on Beyonce's Deena. I found Effie to be more interesting to watch and I felt for her character more than I did with Deena. Also, I realize it's a musical, but the second half just seemed to be song after song after they never came up for air from all the singing!

With the three young women who play the Dreamettes, you have the Broadway star, the ex-American Idol contestant who's known for her larger than life voice, and the R&B megastar, three people who probably wouldn't start a group together because all their sounds are so different. They work together well, though, and you believe them as a group (and understand why Effie is the lead singer at first!) Of course, once the group blows up and becomes more popular, their manager (Foxx) wants to make Deena the lead singer because she has the more commercial look and this does not make Effie happy.

"Bitch, I'll show you crazy!"

Wouldn't that be hilarious if Beyonce actually said that in this movie too? Like that could be her trademark quote or something, haha! Now as far as performances go, I usually give B a hard time because everyone knows she wants an Oscar. Oh, yes, she wants one. It's so obvious. Seriously, B, stop trying so hard and go home to your eighty thousand Grammys. However, having said that, I don't think she was bad in Dreamgirls like she was in, as say, Obsessed (but she was so bad it was so awesome in that movie). For her first movie, I thought Hudson did a good job. Do I think it warranted her the Oscar? Hmmm.. probably not. Let's face it: she only won it because of And I Am Telling You... (and she does sing the hell out of that song), but I feel as though that's like giving Penelope Cruz an Oscar because she spoke perfect Spanish in a film when that's her first language anyway, you know?

I thought Eddie Murphy was really good when his character was performing, then I remembered he had already had some singing experience with the one hit wonder from the '80s, Party All the Time, LOL. The best songs in the film are, of course, And I Am Telling You... and Listen, the single Beyonce sings in the second half of the film. That song was nominated for an Oscar and it would have been my choice to win, but I think having three songs in that category hurt the movie's chances because they all probably ended up canceling each other out. It is a beautiful song, though.

I was amused when I saw John Lithgow in a cameo; I'd never think I'd see him and Beyonce in the same scene together!


  1. The movie was okay, but not great.

    Jennifer Hudson has to be the worst winner of the supporting actress Oscar, and the love since her win has died quickly.

  2. I agree that the film didn't work in the second half. Too slick, and frankly, it's images gave me a headache. Hudson's has to be the most hated winner ever in the Supporting Actress category. I need to see her whole performance again though.