Dreamgirls ★★★ 2006 (PG-13)
The stage musical was coyly set in Chicago; Condon starts his movie off in 1962 Detroit, where three young black women—Effie (Hudson), Deena (Knowles), and Lorell (Rose)—are singing in a talent contest. Sharp wannabe manager Curtis Taylor Jr. (Foxx) takes them on as backup singers to soul shouter James Early (Murphy) and then sees the girl trio's potential to move into pop stardom, as long as the out-of-place Effie, who's a little too black, is replaced. Follows the up-and-down showbiz cliches with lots of intensity even if the music can't compare to the real Motown sound of the 60s and 70s. (Come on—as if the shades of Diana Ross and the Supremes aren't all over the plot.) Anyway, Hudson can belt out her big number, “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going,” with real heartache, and, man, Murphy just scorches the stage. 130m/C DVD, Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD . US Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Beyonce Knowles, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Hudson, Danny Glover, Sharon Leal, Keith D. Robinson, Loretta Devine; D: Bill Condon; W: Bill Condon; C: Tobias Schliessler; M: Henry Krieger. Oscars '06: Sound, Support. Actress (Hudson); British Acad. '06: Support. Actress (Hudson); Golden Globes '07: Film—Mus./Comedy, Support. Actor (Murphy), Support. Actress (Hudson); Screen Actors Guild '06: Support. Actor (Murphy), Support. Actress (Hudson).