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''Dreamgirls''

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 13, 2006

About half an hour into a screening of ''Dreamgirls'' tonight, I was wondering when I would get to see it again. The Oscar hype is fully justified, up to and including a best picture nomination.


Jennifer Hudson is phenomenal -- although, given the size-ism in Hollywood, I worry about how difficult it may be for her to get another role this good. For additional evidence see this profile of Jennifer Holliday, who starred in ''Dreamgirls'' on Broadway. I remember watching Holliday performing ''And I Am Telling You'' on TV when ''Dreamgirls'' was hot and she was transcendent. Hudson comes very close to matching her.


While this is fundamentally Hudson's movie,  I can easily see nominations for Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. Until it has to serve the plot in the second half of the movie, it moves relentlessly. I expect to write a very favorable review.


Qualms: Some of this territory was covered in Robert Townsend's largely overlooked ''The Five Heartbeats.'' Beyonce is appealing but probably too good a singer for her role; the movie makes more sense if her character is really mediocre, but Beyonce's not going to risk her future earnings that way. And the whole this-is-sort-of-but-not-really-the-Supremes really gets pushed to the limit -- there are photos of Beyonce that are pure Diana, and at least one Dreams album cover that pretty much replicates one of the Supremes.


But a terrific movie overall. Really can't wait to see it again.

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