Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Beyonce can't have her cake & eat it too

On the face of it, there are only two roles worth having in Dreamgirls — the Pretty One and the Fat One. Beyonce made the obvious choice, and she suffers for it — because any moment Jennifer Hudson isn’t on the screen is a good opportunity to visit the concession stand. As a friend of mine said, “Miss Thing can’t be happy about this.”
Although Hudson — notoriously booted off “American Idol,” a mistake in hindsight even to Simon Cowell — has the role of the girl whose voice and body are too big to blend into the (mostly white) American Dream, the take-away from the movie is that Hudson is the Pretty One after all.
First of all, she’s pretty. And sexy. She’s the only character who has attitude — not necessarily the fault of some of the outstanding cast, because their characters are mostly ciphers.
Most of all, though, Hudson sells The Song. You know the song I’m talking about. It’s as fine a piece of singing AND acting as you’ll see this season, which is why the “American Idol” reject, not Beyonce, is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination.
The movie itself is an iffy contender, though highly entertaining. The script is hokey and sometimes downright bad, which is surprising coming from Bill Condon, who wrote the screenplay for “Chicago” and wrote and directed “Gods and Monsters.” Its strong suit is Hudson, of course, and those “soft” Oscar categories — costume, set design — all of which are presented in closing credits that actually look as if they were designed for an Oscar campaign, complete with sketches and renderings.
Jennifer Hudson sells The Song, and she sells the movie, too.

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9 Responses to “Beyonce can't have her cake & eat it too”

  1. Sally says:

    Hey Jamie, I will see the movie on Wednesday, but it seems you’re being what Beyonce was talking about today. How come the competition is between Beyonce & Jen and not between Jamie & Eddie? The media seems to want to start a fight between these two women and you are being an accomplice. Beyonce probably doesn’t care whether Jennifer gets more nods and awards, Beyonce has the “star” career and Jennifer’s going to have to hustle up the steps to reach where Beyonce is. If anything Beyonce is more concerned about the 18-yo’s coming up the steps like Rihanna than Jennifer.
    But it makes for a good read doesn’t it – two women fighting for an award?

  2. Cadavra says:

    Welcome back from wherever you were. We were beginning to worry…

  3. Michael says:

    Harsh Jamie….think you are losing your mind as you continue to lose the weight….I agree that Jennifer Hudson has the great role….but I also know Beyonce is great in hers….sounds like you want a feud to exist when there doesn’t seem to be one.

  4. mutinyco says:

    It’s Jami. Not Jamie. Ahem…

  5. Sally says:

    I recommend you all hustle over to cbsnews.com and catch the showbuzz interview w/ Beyonce and Jennifer and compare the two. And you can see WHY Jennifer was the AI contestant who got left behind. Now I don’t know about her singing in the movie, but she needs to ditch the ghetto-speak. Beyonce was very poised and used “good” English, whereas Jennifer stumbled over her interview and pronounced words like a southsider. She’s got a long way to go to reach the top. This is her shot, and she needs to learn how to “speak” properly. Witness yourself and report back if you feel like I do.

  6. London says:

    Good luck to all the beautiful AA sister’s in “Dreamgirls”. Yesterday I watched Beyonce on BET-106th Park and she did not speak well on the show. I have always felt that Beyonce has a poorly articulated speech. Not only do I feel this way I have heard several radio disc jockey’s make similar comments regarding Beyonce having a speech problem. As far as Jennifer goes she is new to the entertainment business. Therefore, give her a chance she might have have been nervous during her interview. However, I do agree that when speaking in public the ghetto-slang should be ditched. Maybe Jennifer Hudson will need to learn how to balance like I have and others – learn to speak in the “board room” and the “black room”. Nonetheless, I wish them both success with the movie “Dreamgirls”.

  7. Elzed says:

    Re: The Speak. I believe these “Girlfriends” are “Keeping it Real”.

  8. Sally says:

    Trying to keep this blog alive by entering context…anyway it’s 1-1/2 months pass…and DG didn’t get the nom but Jami called it for Jen Hudson…great call Jami.

  9. Ross G says:

    Honestly I do not understand all the Beyonce haters. I’ve been a fan since probably 1999 when Destiny’s Child exploded with Say My Name, etc. She is pretty, can sing, dance, and act. Whats the problem here?

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon