Movie Reviews: Dreamgirls
Even though it will be running in a fraction of the theaters of other major releases during the Christmas week, analysts are predicting that Dreamgirls will wind up among the top three films. The musical, based on the early career of The Supremes and starring Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson, and Jamie Foxx, is receiving mostly exuberant praise from critics. Jan Stuart in Newsday writes that it "sails aloft with the flash and velocity of a fireworks launch." Bob Strauss in the Los Angeles Daily News writes that it amounts to "one show-stopping moment after another, and there is no reason to feel ashamed if you burst into spontaneous applause a few times -- or even all the way through. It's that well-crafted a presentation." Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times calls it "a love song two times over, a tribute to a vibrant period of American popular music as well as to a style of filmmaking we don't get to see enough of: the big-budget Hollywood musical." Receiving the lion's share of credit for the film's success is former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson, who reportedly brings down the house with her rendition of "And I Am Telling You." Cheers A.O. Scott in the New York Times: "It's not often you go to the movies and see a big-boned, sexually assertive, self-confident black woman -- not played for laughs or impersonated by a male comedian in drag -- holding the middle of the screen. And when was the last time you saw a first-time film actress upstage an Oscar winner, a pop diva and a movie star of long standing? Ms. Hudson is not going anywhere. She has arrived." Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal remarks that "her soaring, sinuous voice raises up the film version of Dreamgirls and finally transcends it."