The Supreme Story
Dreamgirls
Review by Ross Anthony

Busting at the seams with music, the production hosts minimal dialogue. Even the plot is bare bones, taking a backseat to all the glitzy music of the 60's and 70's. Perhaps inspired by, perhaps based on the rise of the Supremes, Beyoncé slides into Diana Ross-like high heels with glamour and chops. She's solid, but it's really the performances of Jennifer Hudson as Effie White (Florence Ballard?) that take down the house.

In fact, despite a great amount of Oscar buzz around this film, and strong performances by all involved, no one completely break-out rocks save for Jennifer Hudson. What a voice. Gave me chills.

The somewhat soapy story line and campy dialogue-to-song transitions tend to pull the production down into the B range. The top notch cinematography, direction, editing, and hardy performances all around, push it to the top of that range. But, again, it's Jennifer Hudson's contribution that squeak it over into the A- range. And while, the production goes a bit long, its lulls are minimal.

A mild fan of Diana Ross back in the day, this film made me curious so I poked around for the real scoop. Wikipedia had this to say: "Mary Wilson loved Dreamgirls, and even named her first autobiography, Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme, after it. Diana Ross, however, was reportedly angered by the musical, and expressed her dislike of it in the media." (Florence Ballard died in 1976 before the Broadway musical opened in 1981.)

Lastly, the songs were written for the production with the touch and feel of the Supremes (in my opinion), but are not actual Ross/Supremes songs. The same is true for Eddie Murphy's character, which appears to be inspired by (at least) James Brown. While the songs themselves aren't blockbusters, their homage and hints of these musical icons make them fun and enjoyable for purposes of the production.

Dreamgirls

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  • Dreamgirls. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Anika Noni Rose, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Keith Robinson, and Danny Glover.
  • Directed by Bill Condon.
  • Screenplay by Bill Condon. Based on the book/lyrics for the Broadway play.
  • Produced by Laurence Mark at Paramount/Dreamworks.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Friday, 29-Dec-2006 11:32:47 PST