Dreamgirls (PG-13)

Drama 125 January 19, 2007
By Scott Foundas
Time hasn't been particularly kind to Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger's 1981 Broadway hit about the trials and tribulations of a 1960s-era all-girl R&B trio (modeled on the Supremes). By now, so much of Dreamgirls' prime real estate has been overdeveloped by the rash of Broadway and big-screen music biographies (Ray, Walk the Line, Jersey Boys) that it's tough to get too worked up over yet more scenes of naive young vocalists hearing their song on the radio for the first time, encountering the ugly face of racism, and discovering that fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. Still, the movie version of Dreamgirls, which was written and directed by Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters), is by far the best of the recent Hollywood musicals, powered by the earth-shaking debut film performance of American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson, whose ill-fated Effie White is the heart and soul of the movie and then some. When she sings the end-of-first-act show-stopper “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” it's as if some spiritual force had taken hold of her entire being, and you may fear for the architectural stability of the theater you're sitting in.
Bill Condon Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson, Keith Robinson, Hinton Battle, Sharon Leal, Anika Noni Rose, Danny Glover, Jordan Belfi Bill Condon, Tom Eyen Laurence Mark DreamWorks

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