Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dreamgirls

Oscar front-runner. Big-budget musical. American Idol contestant. Basically, Dreamgirls had the makings of being a naivehelga top-ten-of-all-time... and that's before I even saw it. But could they pull it off?
Yes and no. Let me start by TELLING YOU that Dreamgirls will win the Academy Award for Achievement in Costume Design, and probably art direction and makeup, too. Looking at this movie was like eating the perfect piece of candy on Easter Sunday after you gave up chocolate for Lent. It was gorgeous. I could watch this movie all day. The costumes are totally amazing - the movie hits some major fashion high points of the '60s and '70s.
But we don't care about the costumes, you say - what about the singing and acting? Well, friends, it's pretty good. I would place bets that Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murhpy, and Beyonce will all get Oscar noms. Jamie Foxx, not so much - he plays a smarmy guy, and he plays him well, but I just wasn't feeling it. Maybe if Jamie concentrated on acting or singing, he'd be fine, but not both. Beyonce will get an Oscar nomination because she's Beyonce - she was decent, and of course perfection to look at and listen to, but her acting chops aren't fulyl developed yet. See statement about Jamie Foxx - Beyonce needs to narrow her focus and excel at one thing, rather than half-ass two things.
But oh, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson. They were great. Eddie Murphy plays an about-to-be washed-up Motown singer, and I could totally feel how hungry he was to stay on top. Nice job, Eddie - how 'bout you quit making stupid kids' movies for a while? But Dreamgirls belongs to Jennifer Hudson. She is fantastic. I had my doubts at first - she's got the singing chops, but I was afraid that she wouldn't be able to act. But she can, and she does. She is magnificent, and she embodies her character through the whole film (unlike Beyonce, who is just sort of worthless in the beginning and then turns it on in the second half). I don't think Jennifer will become a new Hollywood starlet, but she works it so hard in this movie that that doesn't matter. I am so in love with her and her big booty.
But alas, the movie is not perfect. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but after a few days of consideration, I've realized that this was a pretty movie with some damn fine singing but not a whole lot of meat behind it. It will definitely get nominated for about a bazillion Oscars, and win a few, but I predict that it will not win Best Picture, because it is NOT the best picture.
Don't wait for it to hit your video store - see it in the theater, where all the prettiness will shine even brighter, and voices will be even louder.

Dreamgirls - B+

4 comments:

Peach said...

ooh, I so want to see it. Even more now.
I'm not all into Beyonce, but I loved Jennifer on Ai, so I was excited to see she made a movie.
Thanks for the review!!

Bethro said...

I am excited about Jennifer Hudson too!

Peach said...

ryc: yes, i read her blog all the time... found it from your blog lol

Frannie Farmer said...

I can't wait. But of course, I will have to wait until I can get it via Netflix.