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                      4.   DREAMGIRLS


                                                                                      (Photo and poster: Dreamworks/Paramount)

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel

What do you get when you mix color, great acting, superb costumes, glamorous production design and vibrant, foot-stomping soul music, r&b and disco?  You get "Dreamgirls", a rousing spectacle of sight, sound and fury.  Great acting, great choreography, cinematography, costumes, production design -- all the things that make this film a scintillating spectacle.  It is easy to forget that Bill Condon's film is based on the famed Broadway musical of 1981, which starred the incomparable Jennifer Holliday, as well as Anika Noni Rose (who won a Tony for her performance, and who also stars as Lorrell in this new film) and Loretta Devine as the original trio of dreamgirls.  Devine appears in Condon's film in a brief cameo, but the real stars of this show are Eddie Murphy and especially Jennifer Hudson, who breaks through in a dramatic way as a newcomer to the big screen with her show-stopping turn as Effie White. 

Hudson's already legendary seven-minute solo "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is the crowning moment of a film that bears a performance for the ages in Ms. Hudson's portrayal.  Add to this Jamie Foxx, dazzling work from Beyonce Knowles (who removes any trace of her musical persona from her acting here) and Danny Glover and Keith Robinson and you have a electrifying film experience -- the best and biggest crowd-pleaser of the year. 

The PopcornReel.com film
review of "Dreamgirls" first appeared on December 15, 2006.


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