The Dreamettes, a Detroit trio, seem destined for stardom when up-and-coming record mogul Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx) signs them to his label. Both big-voiced Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and beautiful Deena (Beyonce Knowles) are in love with Curtis, and jealousy threatens to tear the group apart when Curtis promotes Deena to lead vocalist. Twenty-five years after its Broadway debut, this lavish musical explodes on the silver screen in all of its big-haired, ’60s-era glory. The songs are trite and director Bill Condon’s frantic editing deflates the drama’s power, but the gorgeous costumes, superb art direction, and superior acting make up for those sins. Best of all is former “American Idol” contestant Hudson, who emerges as the movie’s true star, thanks to her sensational soulful performance.
Kinsey Scale: 2 (Condon, who wrote the screenplay as well as directs, is gay, as are co-producer David Geffen and composer Henry Krieger. So were original Broadway director Michael Bennett and lyricist Tom Eyen, who also wrote the book of the musical. Condon wrote the screenplay for “Chicago,” won the screenwriting Oscar for his queer drama, “Gods and Monsters,” and made the bi drama “Kinsey.” Co-star Danny Glover appeared in “The Color Purple.”)