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Screened overnite in Australia for critics and industry.
Ten minutes into director Bill Condon's adaptation of the hit musical,
I whispered to my friend "There's no way the film can go at this pace
for two hours!" Because up to that point, we had been utterly dazzled
by breathtaking staging, impassioned performances and a display of
film-making craftsmanship in all its forms (direction, editing, design)
that had the packed audience stunned.
Well, two hours later, I'd been proved wrong. Condon has created a
vivid, emotional spectacle that will dominate the 06/07 Oscar
nominations. Dreamgirls is one of the five best movie musicals ever
There is really nothing new about the storyline - smalltown singers
make it big and ride the roller-coaster of fame. But thats what works
so well for the film - the great cinematic clichés are embraced and
played to the hilt by a creative team, both behind and in front of the
camera, that knows what makes a great Hollywood musical.
There's not one weak link in the cast. Condon's camera is in love with
Beyonce Knowles and she handles the journey from the innocence of the
groups early years to the staggering success and fortune of the group
at its peak with surprising range. While most singer/actress attempts
are failures (Madonna, Whitney, Britney, k.d. lang), Beyonce proves to
have genuine talent.
Jamie Foxx centres and grounds the film in a less-flashy role but one
that is crucial to the films credibility.
But there are two standouts. Eddie Murphy as fading star Early has
never done better work. And Jennifer Hudson delivers an absolute
tour-de-force performance in a role that sees her dominate every scene
she is in. Her belting solo number was applauded by the audience (a
rare enough occurrence during an industry screening but a moment that
was repeated a few times thru the film). Hudson is a lock for the
supporting actress Oscar, even this far from the ceremony.
Dreamgirls is a better movie in every way than recent award winning
musicals Chicago and Moulin Rouge (both of which I am a huge fan). It
is a film that tells a classic rags-to-riches story utilising great
cinematic technique and bravado. 2006 has offered up some great
movie-going experiences for me (Thank You For Smoking, Children Of Men,
V For Vendetta, Little Miss Sunshine); for the sheer cinematic thrill
it provides, however, Dreamgirls proves to be the best two hours I've
spent in a cinema this year.
Tags for Dreamgirls Full Movie
, Danny Glover
, Eddie Murphy
, Jamie Foxx
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