December 23, 2006

"Even Judy Garland's most iconic on-screen ballad performances seem small compared with..."

The critics go nuts for Jennifer Hudson in "Dreamgirls."

And let me just say that I was writing about her by name the morning after her first appearance on "American Idol" in February '04. Here's another early post. And this:
I've been a big Jennifer Hudson fan since her first appearance on an audition show--February 3rd. (The topic is American Idol, people.) She was by far the best performer last night, as everyone seemed to agree, so here's my theory about her insane dress, that hot pink rhumba thing that a friend supposedly made for her. I say supposedly because when asked his name, she could only come up with a first name, and even that sounded like she just made it up ("George"). Anyone could see that was a ridiculous dress, so why did she wear it? Her bad clothes have been a topic of merriment on previous shows, so what I'm thinking is, the producers knew she would get through, probably by the vote of the people but if not, as one of the judge's selections. Four people are going through, and there is no question that one of them will be her. With that in mind, the producers had an entirely absurd dress made and convinced her to wear it for the sheer comedy of it all. She would agree to do it for any of a number of reasons: 1. She wants to be agreeable, 2. She has a sense of humor, 3. She likes to wear comic clothing, and (this is the real one) 4. She knew, and they told her, that by calling as much attention to her ridiculous clothes as possible, she was setting the stage for the future occasion when she would redo her image and suddenly look fabulous and receive lavish praise for her brilliant transformation.

And here's my reaction to her getting voted off the show:
American Idol: The Outrage. What the hell happened? That was the worst thing ever on American Idol. See my post from this morning for how I read the show last night: I thought Jennifer was the best. I thought the three Divas would be the final three. They were the bottom three! How could that happen? Jennifer was my original favorite, from the first audition. I can only think that the strong praise for the Divas caused people to think they didn't need help, and people speed dialed for two hours for favorites they believed were in danger. I must say they really revealed the results dramatically, telling George to join the safe group, causing him to walk over to the Divas (forming a group that was my predicted final four: George and the Divas), then telling him he'd joined the wrong group. Oh, the outrage!
Anyway... are you excited about seeing "Dreamgirls"? About the new season of "American Idol," which must be coming up soon? Do you picture your humble (diva) blogger going out to see "Dreamgirls" on Christmas? Do you picture me watching and blogging "American Idol" again this year?


Meade said...

I don't know... but I am a little disturbed to see that you have gone from being our "humble (diva) bloggress" to our "humble (diva) blogger."

What gives?

bill said...

I didn't say this, but I agree with it. From XWL,
I'm trying to trace back in my mind where all this horrible Whitney, Mariah, Celine, Xtina crap started and I think I know where.


I was going to do a review of the album from the new film, but I loathed it so much, that I figured I couldn't possibly be fair towards it. Then I listened to a cast recording of the original musical, and it was just as bad, if not worse.

That song, the big show stopper, the big moment, the one that supposedly made Jennifer Holliday a star, that song is a wreck, especially at the end. Jennifer Hudson does an equally horrific job with that crappy song, warble for warble, oversung note for oversung note.

It may be enough to earn her a Supporting Actress Oscar. Good for her, I guess.

Needless to say, you'd have to pay me to see that film, and pay me well, like getting Prof. Althouse to eat an egg salad sandwich type money (current price seems to be around $1,000 US, but as she seems more prosperous lately, the price may have risen).

Dreamgirls first hit Broadway very early in the 80s, before Whitney had her hits, and before Patti LaBelle went from being a powerfully voiced singer into being a ridiculous parody of a warbler. It is a play about girl groups from the sixties but it applies a bombastic Broadway sensibility to the lyrics and song style. It's a match made in hell, if you ask me. Listen to Motown, listen to Mary Wells' velvety vocals, or Diana Ross' sexy whisper. That's not what Holliday does in that stupid musical. Dreamgirls is as if you mixed girl groups with the demonic presence that is known as Andrew Lloyd Webber. To paraphrase Hugo Chavez, whenever ALW leaves a room, the smell of sulfur lingers for days.

SteveR said...

Easily the best that year on AI. Easily

ignacio said...

I agree with Bill's reference absolutely. Some people like this style of oversinging, but it's not musical.

Anonymous said...

No, I can't see Ann going to see this movie. But then again, I didn't think Ann would blog about American Idol.

Me? I'll see it!

MrsWhatsit said...

I have tried twice to listen to that song from Dreamgirls online and both times turned it off halfway through. Way too much caterwauling for me. Yes, the pipes on that woman are impressive, but my goodness, couldn't somebody just sing a song and let the music speak for itself?

SteveR said...

I don't know when it started but I blame Mariah for making it into a musical ass whip.

Anonymous said...

Anyway... are you excited about seeing "Dreamgirls"?

No. I have no idea what it's about or what the dramatic tension consists of, so I can't get excited about it. Every preview I've seen just shows people singing and looking pretty. That's not enough to get me interested in a movie.

Though, to be fair, if a preview only showed Tony Jaa fighting people, I would almost certainly go see whatever movie it was for.