Dreamgirls... my take

Many bloggers have already or will be posting many reviews of the Dreamgirls movie and most of them will focus on the great performances of Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Fox and Beyonce. However after finally seeing the movie for myself after months and months of hype this post gives much do praise to Eddie Murphey and Anika Noni Rose.

Murphey as James "Thunder" Early is electrifying in his portrayl of a star's rise and fall from the top. This comedic side of him probably hasn't been this sharp since his many years on SNL. And his singing makes me wonder if his late 80s albums were all that bad. But it's the fear eating at Jimmy that brings out the best in Murphy. Jimmy is a star who has abused too many drugs and used too many women from his wife who Dawn Lewis effectively played sans any lines and Lorrell, his current mistress played by Anika. However Murphy effectively illuminates these character flaws without dimming the wicked charm. I dont think Murphey has ever reached this far emotionally or dug this deep to bring a character so real.

In 2004, Anika Noni Rose was awarded the Theatre World Award, Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress and the Tony Ward for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, for Caroline, or Change. In 2006, she brought this award winning talent to big screen as she effectively portrays Lorrell Robinson's growth from a giggly naive girl to a grown woman. My favorite scene is when she has finally had enough of Jimmy Early and pulls the strength and courage to walk away from the man that made her a woman. While the character Lorrell, is relegated mostly to the background in most of the film, her few moments to shine display a young performer whose power is far beyond her years. Anika Noni Rose more than holds her own vocally and in acting as the third Dreamgirl.

On the others... For me Jennifer Hudson didn't steal the show at all. I expected her to deliver a flawless performance and she did. I am quite thankful however that Beyonce actually stepped up her usual lack of acting talent and gave a pretty decent performance herself. She amazingly and effectively channels the diva herself, Diana Ross throughout the movie. She pulls this off through several dazzling fashion ensembles and the photo shoot scene. However I don't think her performance should have been compared to that of Meryl Streep and Annette Benning this past year with a Golden Globe nomination. However I will say the scene of her getting photographed, as Ross did, in an infinite number of extravagant costumes and hairdos was utterly beautiful.

Often when Broadway goes Hollywood, the director and screenplay writer try to do too much and it often comes off seeming more patchwork than a constant flow... and Dreamgirls can seem quite patchy at times. And umm what happened to the Jamie Foxx/Jennifer Hudson sex scene???

Oh yeah... Congrats to Jaleel "Urkel" White and Dawn "Different World" Lewis for scoring cameos... I guess their careers aren't totally dead yet.



8 comments:

Celeste said...

i agree with you so much Anika and Eddie were both amazing.

Anonymous said...

u are such a hater beyonce may not be oscar worthy but she is not a bad actress

j_shanlin said...

I had the same question about Eddie Murphy's 80s albums, and yes, they are bad. I was like "I can't believe I'm sitting here listening to an Eddie Murphy album. And did you catch how broad Dawnn Lewis's shoulders were? I was like OMG somebody has been workin out!

ReddMann said...

yeah i listened to some of his music after posting and ummm it was bad.

ProfessorB said...

A co-worker and I were just discussing the missing Foxx/Jennifer Hudson scene.

Anonymous said...

You either have to be dead or tone death...Beyonce will always be in the shadow of Jennifer Hudson....not too many women in Jennifer Hudson age bracket can touch her....Dreamgirls was definately JENNIFER HUDSON's

Marz said...

Ms. Rose did give me everything.

It still was too patchy for me and lacked development and character build-up. And the way things just popped up and some people were just floating around, like the older black woman on the bus, was a bit confusing. It seemed that a whole bunch of people wanted to be in the movie since it is so historical, and the director just put them in.


But I want to see it again, and the play now.

twinston1911 said...

yeah I agree with your review, I do think that Anika Noni Rose is not getting the acclaim she deserves. and Eddie was very good, but I do thing Jennifer was the Dream girl of the movie, for a first time acting gig, she was truly amazing. and beyonce was not bad either,