Thursday, November 30, 2006

The (Mostly) Unseen Contenders of '06: Dreamgirls

While Nathaniel's relaxing at an undisclosed vacation location (soaking in a warm cucumber bath at a spa somewhere, we're guessing), he's asked us to fill in. And how could we say no to such a talented, sexy, and mildly OCD blogfriend? We love him, we love this site, and we're pleased as punch to be playing in the Film Experience sandbox.

Plus: it's an exciting time for Oscar freaks like us, isn't it? With the National Board of Review merely a week away, we thought we'd highlight the major Oscar contenders that have not yet opened to the public. We begin with the 5000-pound gorilla of the season; stay tuned for daily installments where we'll distill the buzz, squeeze out the juice, mix it with vodka and serve it as an Oscartini. [Modern Fabulousity]

DREAMGIRLS

Release Date
: December 15th (NY/LA); December 25th (nationwide)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content

Ten Words Or Less
: It's the Supremes, but no Diana Ross...show queen heaven.

Reason For Existence: Because Hollywood owes gays an apology after screwing Brokeback Mountain last year. And nothing says you're sorry like a big Broadway musical!

Mathematical Equation: X=Mahogany + (The Color Purple - American Idol) + (Little Shop of Horrors - actual horrors) divided by 1/3 (Destiny's Child)

Take A Look: The Rockin' Trailer

Early Buzz (Good)
: "Dreamgirls is a movie that has everything: a blazing new star in Jennifer Hudson, a riveting, revitalized Eddie Murphy, a hot-lick score by Henry Krieger and the late Tom Eyen, a timely story about how music can sell its soul to greed and compromise, and a dynamo of a director and screenwriter in Bill Condon." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Early Buzz (Bad)
: "While being left breathless can be riveting in the cinematic environment, it is never as much when it comes at the expense of narrative cohesion." - Kris Tapley, In Contention

Oscar Locks: Best Film, Supporting Actor (Murphy), Supporting Actress (Hudson)

In The Running
: Director and Adapted Screenplay (Condon); Costume Design (Shared Davis)

Long Shots
: Best Song ("Listen"); Best Actor (Jamie Foxx); Best Actress (Beyonce Knowles)

Best Picture Odds
: 2-1

Why It's Essential
: Do you really want to be the only one at your office who hasn't seen it?

The Achilles Heel
: The tense-smile appearance on Oprah last week made it clear that Beyonce's not happy playing second fiddle to Hudson. Internal squabbling, if it goes public, could hurt the film's momentum. And then there's the issue of living up to expectations, which may be Dreamgirls' biggest battle...call it the Jennifer Holliday Factor.

The Verdict
: It would take a mighty big roadblock to derail at this point...but pre-emptive favorites have a way of fading at the end. Brokeback, anyone? [Modern Fabulousity]

16 comments:

Glenn Dunks said...

Thing is, Dreamgirls ain't gonna be winning many Best Picture crowns through the season (HFPA, BFCA maybe, NBR perhaps, etc) but it's not like Brokeback last year where voting against it will be like taking a stand. I doubt voters will feel obligated to vote for it, which is probably why Brokeback lost. They were resentful that they were being told what to vote for.

Gilidor said...

It's not my favorite movie of the year (I much prefer THE FOUNTAIN, for one), but DREAMGIRLS is f'n awesome. It's certainly 10 times better than CHICAGO, so...

Beau said...

Hudson Vs. Mirren for Best Actress.

It makes Supporting an open field and gives us viewers a grand ol' time predicting BA.

adam k. said...

Except Hudson is supporting, no?

And Glenn, not to beat a dead horse, but there are a lot of reasons why Brokeback lost. No one minded being told to vote for American Beauty or ROTK, for example. Anyway....

Yeah I feel like Dreamgirls could easily take the NBR best pic award, so the NBR can take credit for getting its momentum started. Also, it's exactly the type of film they like (if I recall, Chicago was their #2). And the HFPA and most likely the BFCA too. That is plenty of pre-awards. But yeah, no one will feel obligated. I still say Dreamgirls/Scorcese split.

Glenn Dunks said...

Well yeah, there were other factors, but it won basically every single Best Picture trophy. And while American Beauty won a helluva lot as well, it didn't have two gay men having sex and falling in love.

ROTK was the final in the biggest movie series of all time.

But yeah, Dreamgirls/Scorsese split is looking logical at the moment.

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Alanna said...

No offense, Mod Fab, but I don't take anything Peter Travers says seriously. He's completely insane. He's more of a quotable blurb factory than an actual human.

Anonymous said...

Yes Alanna, I don't trust a word he says either. But in my defense, I did call it "Good Buzz" and not "Gospel Truth."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, seriously Modfire. Fading? Your acting like Brokeback was an Apollo 13 or something. Now, that was fading.
Nominees that fad and don’t win Best Picture don’t then win Directing and Screenplay awards. Nominees that are too daring or innovative do. (The Graduate, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Brokeback Mountain.)

- Plus, even the fair minded (non Oscar-watching) public knows a cop- out when they see one. Pretty much everyone I still talk about it just shakes their head and sighs.

-The only good that came out of the “cop-out” was that Brokeback escaped being placed in a laundry list of middle brow (given a few exceptions) films only to join a list of cinematic legends.

This…
A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart
Chariots of Fire, Chicago
Crash, Forrest Gump
Driving Miss Daisy
Gladiator, Shakespeare in Love

…Vs. this…
Bonnie & Clyde, Brokeback Mountain
Citizen Kane, E. T., The Exorcist, Fargo, The Emperor Strikes Back, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Graduate, Goodfellas, L. A. Confidential, The Piano, Pulp Fiction,Raging Bull,Psycho

Glenn Dunks said...

*groan*

I thought people had realised by now that Shakespeare in Love was actually a better film than Saving Private Ryan. Cause it is. But it's not about WWII so I suppose Saving Private Ryan is deemed "important" and thus "better".

:/

adam k. said...

The critical response to SPR was pretty amazing, though, when it was released. Not the awards response, the critical response... nary a bad review ANYwhere, and all the major critics' awards. It's not hard to see why SiL was regarded as such an upset, even if you do think it was the better film.

I've actually never seen SPR all the way through... my family rented it once, but I didn't watch the whole thing.. I think it bored me some... I should try to finish it.

Felix said...

I usually agree with you camel, but not here..

I tried to watch 'Shakespeare in Love' earlier this week hoping to fall in love with it.. or at least like it more than I had before but I had to stop about half way through..

It just gets sucks more and more upon subsequent viewings and for me it borders on such juvenile camp but not the fun kinda camp either- it's just one mundane Shakespeare reference after another.

What i mean to say is every film nominated was miles better than SiL, they just didn't have the Weinstein whoring machine behind them.

and thats the end of my rant.

Unknown said...

As a serious and GAY filmgoer/student I'm offended by this:
"Because Hollywood owes gays an apology after screwing Brokeback Mountain last year."
Hollywood owes me nothing at least!
I might happen to be in the minority (of a minority heh) who thinks that just because something gay becomes mainstream it's automatically supposed to win awards. I agrred with Ang Lee winning because for me it was more of a "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" make up, but the film winning would've made the whole "gay issue" get out of control. I mean, just because we like other guys doesn't make us any special!

Unknown said...

*who does NOT think...

I'm sleepy so I apologize for the tons of typos, but this BBM thing pisses me off!

Glenn Dunks said...

Well Nat agrees with so there

Anonymous said...

Jose, four things:

1) I was being funny. Humor. Try it sometime.

2) Of course the Academy owes gays nothing. Not even the time of day, clearly.

3) Being gay is much more than merely liking other guys. And it makes us very, very, VERY special indeed.

4) If you think CRASH was a more deserving movie than BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, on any level, you can hardly be taken seriously.