Release Date: December 15th, 2006 (limited); December 25th, 2006 (wide)
Director: Bill Condon
Writters: Bill Condon, Tom Eyen
Jamie Foxx as: Curtis Taylor Jr.
Co-Stars: Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy
Runtime: 130 min
Genre: Drama, Musical
Rated:?PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content
Production budget: $70 million (estimated)
Box office: $ 154.9 million
Links: Imdb – Official Site
Effie White, Deena Jones, and Lorrell Robinson – three friends from Chicago – are a promising singing trio called The Dreamettes. Accompanied by their songwriter C.C. White (Effie’s brother), they travel to New York to compete in a talent show at the Apollo Theatre. Although the girls lose this first bid for fame, their talent attracts an ambitious manager by the name of Curtis Taylor, Jr., who uses unscrupulous tactics to move the girls from backup singers of superstar James “Thunder” Early to superstars of their own. Curtis reshapes the group to “crossover” from R & B to the lucrative pop music scene. Lead singer Effie gets replaced by the more attractive Deena and is eventually dropped from the trio. The group evolves into a more sophisticated group, The Dreams, with a lighter sound and chic look. They successfully attract a “whiter” audience and The Dreams rise to international stardom. The money, fame, and adulation, however, doesn’t bring them happiness.
Jamie Foxx’s character
Jamie Foxx plays Curtis Taylor, Jr., a slick Cadillac dealer-turned-record executive who founds the Rainbow Records label and shows ruthless ambition in his quest to make his black artists household names with white audiences. At first romantically involved with Effie, Curtis takes a professional and personal interest in Deena after appointing her lead singer of the Dreams in Effie’s place.
Curtis is a rough-edged kind of guy who is trying to get into the music business. He just wishes that he could have sung better, could have written better music, could have played some type of instrument, but he can’t. So, he does what he can to get to the top by managing talent. I think that comes with a curse for him – on some level, he wishes it was him out there. He’s working every angle until he finds an opening.
– Jamie Foxx describes his character
- Jamie Foxx initially declined to play Curtis Taylor Jr. because the salary offered was insufficient. Denzel Washington was offered the part after Foxx, but declined because he cannot sing. Once Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy were attached to the production, Foxx rethought his decision and accepted the role.
- This is the only film to ever lead in the number of nominations in a particular year (in this case eight) at the Academy Awards but receive no Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
The acting is one of Dreamgirls’ unassailable assets. One expects a top-notch performance from Jamie Foxx, who has proven himself to be among Hollywood’s elite actors, and he delivers it. Foxx provides an unflinching portrayal of how power and greed can corrupt even the best of men.