Tuesday, January 02, 2007

And I'm Telling You Jennifer Hudson is the Real Deal

I had the privilege of watching Jennifer Hudson perform on American Idol the season that Fantasia Barrino won. I remember all of the controversy when she was voted off. It might have been the best American Idol performance ever--definitely in a class of its own. I heard that voice and knew that she would be successful and the way she sung her way off the show told me that wouldn't be the last time that I'd hear from her.

I've been waiting for a chance to see Dreamgirls. I'd heard the buzz about Jennifer's performance prior to her Golden Globe nomination. There were whispers about her being the leading candidate for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. I generally hate musicals, but I had to see it.

Well lucky for me that Al and Neese also wanted to see it. So after throwing down in the kitchen, pats self on the back, and dispensing of a bottle of Gallo Burgundy (two thumbs up)--we made our way to an 11:10 P.M. showing, that's dedication.

We get there on Saturday night and the place is packed. We are in the front row and we are thinking what did we get ourselves into. But, as soon as Jennifer took the stage we knew the cricks in our necks would be well worth it.

She gained 30 pounds for this role. If this is her acting debut I'm waiting to see what the sequel will hold. Her acting stood out amongst all the marquee actors and actresses. Her voice blew us all away. I'd read a review that said the film sizzled with Jennifer in the spotlight and faded when she was off-stage. I certainly agree.

Beyonce's acting was a notch above what I'd seen from her in the past and her voice sounded better than I'd ever heard it when she sung her ballad Listen. That was just the potatoes. Jennifer delivered a pot roast with all the fixings. Her portrayal was believable. Her portrayal was breathtaking. Her voice unparalleled (even with the seasoned Knowles in the cast).

And if you haven't heard Jennifer Holiday's gut-wrenching vocals of Your Gonna Love Me, I'd suggest you do it just for comparisons sake. I've heard the original and likewise have heard countless amateur contestants at the Apollo give it a try. Some have done a decent job, none have compared to Hudson. Her rendition--because she made it her own--was gripping and received an ovation at the movie theater I was in (which I've heard isn't uncommon). I felt the emotion in her voice. She let the emotion build until it bubbled over. At that moment you had no idea that you were watching a movie. You felt Effie's heart break into a thousand pieces. I casted a nasty look at Jamie Foxx's character and at Dina. How could you do that to Effie I thought. "I said sing your pain out Effie. Go ahead Jennifer."

I can't wait for her album to come out. If you love R&B and good acting (despite a few hiccups) I'd recommend that you get your butt in gear and hear Jennifer announce her presence as the next big voice and hopefully star of our era.


Twixie said...

I completely agree with you here.. She is the real deal holyfield. This role was made for her, perfect timing I would say. I can't to see what else she's gonna bring out, but right now I'm a total Jennifer Hudson fan. The others were good too.

Excalibur said...

Wow, I'm so glad someone actually commented on this one. I absolutely loved this movie and will probably buy it when it comes out on DVD.