The 1982 Tony-Award-winning musical DREAMGIRLS shimmies its way to the big screen with a stellar cast and undeniable sheen. Set in 1960s Detroit, DREAMGIRLS follows the commercial and cultural struggles of the R&B recording industry, through the rise of the Dreamettes (later shortened to just the Dreams) from backup singers to headlining international superstars. The trio--Deena (Beyonc Knowles), Effie (Jennifer Hudson), and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose)--soon discover the harsh reality behind the glamour of fame and fortune, as the group's controlling and shady manager, Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx), uses them to help build his musical empire and capture his dream of crossing over from R&B to the pop charts. He sacrifices Effie's immense talent as lead singer for Deena's stunning, more mainstream look to sell the sound, pushing marketable appeal over musical artisanship--and compromising the ambitions of his protgs.
Since its Broadway debut, DREAMGIRLS has been widely rumored to be inspired by the hugely successful girl-group the Supremes, as well as some of Motown's biggest players. Knowles's Deena portrays a Diana Ross-like character, radiant in miraculous recreations of the hairstyles and fashions that made Ross timeless, while Foxx's Taylor exemplifies the style of influential Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. Former AMERICAN IDOL contestant Jennifer Hudson makes her feature-film debut delivering a knockout performance as the larger-than-life Effie, and Eddie Murphy is believable as the misunderstood James Brown-like character of Jimmy "Thunder" Early. Vibrant with colorful costumes and sleek backdrops, the film flows effortlessly from dialogue to musical numbers, each song capturing the richness of the talented cast and the essence of the era, endlessly soaring with fast-paced excitement and nonstop emotion.
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 2006 Jennifer Hudson Oscar winning American actress, DREAMGIRLS