|DreamWorks SKG | Release Date: December 15, 2006||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Finally. After "The Phantom of the Opera," "Rent" and "The Producers" botched the transfer from stage to screen, Dreamgirls gets it right. Bill Condon's adaptation of the 1981 show about a Motown trio's climb to crossover stardom pulls off the fundamental double-act those three musical pics all missed: It stays true to the source material while standing on its own as a fully reimagined movie. Read full review
She's (Jennifer Hudson) the best part of the show by far, but the writer-director Bill Condon, who wrote the screenplay for "Chicago" four years ago, has done the original "Dreamgirls" proud without solving its dramatic problems.
Murphy is a revelation as James, and what American Idol castoff Hudson lacks in technical acting craft she makes up for in raw energy and a voice that could melt the rhinestones off a beauty queen. To complain that Beyonce pales by comparison is to fault her for nailing the essence of the infinitely malleable Deena. Read full review
Indeed, without Hudson's magic, without that extra feeling that comes from seeing the launch of something extraordinary, Dreamgirls might have been a break-even affair. The film has strong roles, good actors and a compelling story that takes place over the course of 10 or 15 years. But it has, with only a couple of exceptions, a pedestrian score that sounds like generic show-music schlock and lyrics that are not distinctive. Read full review
The ovation that Hudson wins from the movie's audience is one of those miraculous moments when a performer's artistry breaks through the screen and makes you feel part of a live audience. I haven't experienced anything like it since Barbra Streisand sang "My Man" at the end of her astonishing debut in Funny Girl. Read full review
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