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respect (2021)


Much has been made of...
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Much has been made of the late Aretha Franklin's choice of actress to portray her in this early career retrospective - but I wonder what she might have made of the rest of the cast? Jennifer Hudson is superb when she sings, she captures much of the range and vitality of Ms Franklin. Unfortunately, as an actress she fares a little less well, and coupled with a really mediocre supporting cast the film drags quite frequently. The chronology of the story is simple enough, depicting the transition from innocent young girl - a sort of vocal trophy for her father, woken up to enthusiastically perform to the great and the good at house parties - through her disputes with the same strongly willed father (Forest Whitaker) as she hooks up with 12-years older Ted White (Marlon Wayans) and starts her bumpy road to stardom. Maybe had there been more actual opportunity for Hudson to deliver more songs, then the film would...

This was a good movie...
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

This was a good movie, and I enjoyed it. However, I don’t expect I will ever watch it a second time. In a way, it felt like I had already seen it. And I get why: the experiences of women, even celebrity women, often mirror each other when it comes to strict fathers, as=busive first husbands, and so on. The reason we have cliches is that a lot of stuff that happens is so common it becomes a cliche. I only wish the movie had surprised me once in a while when it came to the two-dimensional portrayal of those characters. There were a few little surprises like that: the change in Aretha’s reaction to the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section backup band, a moment with her father late in the film, and a few other places. But mostly it all seemed familiar. But still, I like the movie and recommend it.

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