Monday, January 15, 2007
movies

I have spent my entire weekend "watching" movies. Through the kindness of a dear friend, I have been able to see a number of films that were nominated for a Golden Globe this year....the ceremony to be telecast tonight!

What did I see? Well, first I watched "DREAMGIRLS". I loved it! I had seen the Broadway production and was pretty knocked out by the beauty of the staging and choreography---the late great Michael Bennett was responsible for both the Direction and the Choreography!
But the standout was a young woman named Jennifer Holiday. Amazing performance---like nothing I had ever seen on the stage, and I had seen a lot of great performers in all my many years of going to the theatre---particularly on Broadway. The emotional power of that young woman was astounding! Vocally incredible and her 'acting' superb....like I said, I had never seen anything like it before.....


The film, now finally made, after almost 25...well, 26 years later, has another young woman in the part of 'Effie'...the same role that Miss Holiday played on Broadway...and now this young lady, Jennifer Hudson all but eats up the screen! She is really fantastic, and she has quite a terrifically wonderful career ahead of her. And I think she will win a Golden Globe tonight, and deservidly so....it is ironic that she was a "loser" on American Idol....well, actually the way that show works and what they are looking for, Jennifer Hudson does not fit that box, at all....she has something extra that needs a much bigger canvas. "Dreamgirls" gives her that canvas....

As to the actual music of this film...it suits the story wonderfully and has you tapping your foot and shaking your head through almost every song...a joy to listen to, though most of the songs, with the exception of a few, are a variation on the same song...no matter, it works anyway....Everyone in the film is wonderful! And it would not surprise me if Eddie Murphy wins a statue tonight, too.
But one of the really lovely things about the movie for me personally was the inclusion of Loretta Devine, a magnificent actress and singer who was in the 'Original' cast of the Broadway show....not as 'Effie', but as 'Lorell'.In this picture above, we see Jennifer Holiday, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta DeVine on the far right...the 'original' Broadway Dreamgirls....

Loretta has done the S.T.A.G.E. Benefit eight or nine times in the 20 years that I have been involved...and she is a magnificent performer who brings the house down every time she appears. Dear Loretta D. continues to have a very successful career in films and television and she is a truly talented actress weather in comedy or drama....and, she sure can sing! In "DREAMGIRLS" the film, she appears singing in a club at a kind of Celebration of the Eddie Murphy characters life, after he has died....I loved that the director Bill Condon and the other 'powers that be' found a spot for her to not only be in the film, but to sing a little, too....The score of the film is a mixture of the Original score on Broadway---with songs left out, and some new songs written for the film version, as well....I am not sure, but I believe the song Loretta sings in the film was written just for the film....Anyway, it was a lovely homage to Loretta DeVine that she was included in the film. Jennifer Holiday and Sheryl Lee Ralph were not included. I am sure there is a story there, but I have no idea what it is. Here is Loretta at the Premiere of "Dreamgirls" here in Los Angeles....
You all may recognize Loretta from among the many things she has done on film and television including the film "Crash" and the series "Boston Public". And currently she plays Dr. Richard Webber's wife, Adele, on "Grey's Anatomy".

I'll write about some of the other films I saw in my next post, I think...Just one quick thing I will say about Peter O'Toole in "Venus"....I hope he gets nominated for an Academy Award and wins, and I hope he wins the Golden Globe tonight...His was an exceptionally beautiful, sensitive, funny, endearing and lovely performance....







More To Come.......







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22 Comments:
had this to say:

It sounds wonderful. I have worked on many musicals but not 'Dream Girls' so I'll have to check it out sometime. I hope Peter O'Toole wins too. I think he is a great actor that is sometimes overlooked.

I'm glad you are enjoying seeing my pics of NYC. It must have been fantastic living nearby when you did and being able to visit these places :-)

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 5:54:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I want to see Dreamgirls soooo badly and Peter O' Toole has been a favorite for years! (Remember Lawrence of Arabia?) I will be glued to the screen tonight when the Golden Globes comes on, and I hope to see the movie in a week or two.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 5:56:00 AM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I think when Jennifer Hudson "lost" on Idol, the three judges were blindsided. They thought she would make it much farther along and I bet they are not the least bit surprised with her success in this movie.

Did it get cold where you are? We are still waiting for the cold front... but Nyssa called me (yes she called me on the cell phone from the next room, that is lazy isn't it) and said the weather service says it might snow on Wednesday... we have 70 degree temps today and snow on Wednesday.... strange.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 6:59:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't seen Dreamgirls yet, but I guess I will have to see it now!

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 7:42:00 AM PST 

Anonymous Lyn M.
had this to say:

I'm looking forward to seeing the films you reviewed and plan to watch the Awards Ceremony tonight to see all the winners.
I understand the weather in L.A. is predicting high Santa Ana winds, so I hope it won't spoil all the Red Carpet activity.
P.S. Sent a vote for Jennifer!

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 7:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I think I'll wait for Dreamgirls to be on DVD.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 8:30:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm ashamed to say I didn't realize that that was the great Loretta Divine doing the jazz singing in this .. It was indeed a nice touch to include her, but this show was all about the arrival of Jennifer Hudson, who should just be a joy to watch winning her Golden Globe tonight

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 8:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You know, Loretta Devine was always familiar to me and it never occurred to me that's where she was from. I have yet to see DreamGirls, but have heard that it is very good and that JH steals the show.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 9:17:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, I loved the movie too, as you know. And I thought your description was perfect.

I've always loved the three of them, Sheryl, Loretta and Jennifer (Holliday). And I played the hell out of the cast CD in high school. So I was really excited about the movie, and 90% not disappointed (vocally, Jamie Fox did not do justice to his songs). But the entire movie was so wonderful.

I too wondered why they didn't get Jennifer Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph to do cameos. And also agree that Jennifer Hudson was amazing and deserved that award tonight! I'll be watching.
Enjoyed your post, as always.
~S :)

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 9:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've seen Dream Girls twice and hope to go again. I absolutely loved it. I can't think when I've seen a movie where every actor was consistently outstanding. Thanks for your excellent review. I learned more.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 12:57:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Ahaaaaaaa so you have been hiding your posts down here!
Dreamgirls sounds fantastic!
Thank you for sharing with us.
Beautiful post!

Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 3:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I hope to see Dreamgirls soon. I usually end up seeing movies when they leave theaters and come to Pay Per View. Either way, I'm sure I will really enjoy the film.
It is great to see a "loser" on American Idol find her place to shine. Good for her!!

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 3:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh, I'm so jealous....I'm dying to see Dream Girls!
And I'm anxious for you to tell us what "Venus" is about. I'm really not familiar with it.
But...both will have to get added to my Netflix list when they become available.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 3:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'm glad things have gone well for Jennifer Hudson. Being such an avid Idol fan I love keeping up with the contestants I liked. Now she does have a voice and I cannot wait to see that movie.
I am so happy to hear so many good things about Eddie Murphy's performance too and I would love to see him take home the globe.
I hope Dream Girls hurries to video! It isn't playing anywhere around here.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 3:43:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I came by earlier, but Blogger was being pissy with me and would not allow me to comment.

I want to see that movie. I usually end up seeing movies after they leave the theater and come to pay per view. It is great that a "loser" on American Idol found her place to shine! Good for her!!

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 4:04:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have to say that at this time of the year I really miss seeing all the movies (DeForest always let me see them ALL!)

Ohh, I loved Loretta in Boston Public! I was sorry when that show went off the air! I hope we get to see her again on Greys Anatomy too!

There are a number of supurb actors like Peter O'Toole who have been wrongly overlooked! I hope he wins tonight!

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 4:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'd like to see "Dream Girls" but haven't had a chance. My sis saw it over the weekend and liked it.

Thanks for the stories :)

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 6:26:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Dream Girls sounds like a fantastic movie...hoping to see it.

How are you?

Kendra

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 6:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Ohhhhh gosh... you know me... I watch NOTHING... no TV, no movies... nothing! BUT... I MAY have to check out Dreamgirls now... How could I NOT with such rave reviews!?

Hey! I remembered to come back and vote today! YAY me!

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 7:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'm so glad the Dream Girls did so well last night. I had a blast watching. The Golden Globes are so much more informal and fun than the bigger award shows so you get to see everyone acting more natural. I myself was a huge Mowtown fan so I can't wait to see this historic film. I usually wait for the DVDs to come out though. So many good new movies to see. I know nothing about Peter O'tooles movie and learned of some new ones last night.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 6:18:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

O'Toole is one of my heroes. So was his partner Richard Harris.

I wonder if Ms. Hudson would have gotten the breaks if she hadn't appeared on that TV travesty American Idol. They do insist on mediocrity in that contest--I'm surprised anyone as good as people tell me she is (I haven't seen the movie yet) would even get in the running for the top "honor" on American Idol.

I've been voting every day up top, speaking of TV breaks.~,:^) I think that young lady is quite talented.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 2:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Nice post, Naomi! You are very lucky, so many movies to watch! "Dream Girls" sounds like a great film! I'd like to see "Dream Girls" but I think I'll must to wait for it to be on DVD.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 5:05:00 AM PST 

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