2.5, United States/Canada


2006 / Bill Condon > Generally, I’ll avoid musicals if possible, but one had to see what the hoopla was about. And Dreamgirls reminded me why I tend to avoid the sing and dance: In the middle of all the great musical numbers, costumes and sets, the depth and emotion needed for the story to stick and progress gets lost. Condon’s effort here is sub-par to Chicago, but thankfully, it shines on a technical basis.

On the debate of Beyonce vs. Jennifer Hudson, it’s pretty silly. Beyonce lacked script to deliver a real performance. Most of her lines were thin and unoriginal. Hudson, on the other hand, was solid but not entirely Oscar-worthy. (As of now, Kikuchi’s performance in Babel takes the cake for me.) Her character felt forced, self-centered and simply annoying. I’m not doubting she doesn’t have the skills, but I am saying the script kept her back. It was good, by the way, to see Murphy work some magic that we knew he always had.

As a huge fan of Motown music, this was still enjoyable at times. While the tracks were not nearly as catchy, the glitz and glamour of the girls made up for it. Taking that into effect, I would think those who are not fans of Motown or musicals will not find this nearly as appeasing.