Her very first movie role in “Dreamgirls” was a miraculous dream come true for former American Idol contestant, Jennifer Hudson, and on January 15, 2007, that dream reached a higher peak than Jennifer had ever imagined when she won the Golden Globe Award for her role as Effie. Jennifer was completely overwhelmed and even began crying during her acceptance speech as she told the audience that no one could imagine how much the magical moment meant to her, and how it made her feel.
Jennifer’s role was loosely based on former Supreme, Florence Ballard, and at the end of her acceptance speech, Jennifer did not forget that, when in a touching moment, she dedicated the award to Florence, who was also known as “Blondie”. While “Dreamgirls” does show how the Effie/Florence character was pushed into the background in a group that she founded, I guess you really had to be there to know the whole story. Okay, I wasn’t actually “there” per se, but I was 10 years old when the Supremes made the big time, and I have never really forgotten watching Diana Ross push Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard out of the way during interviews on television, whenever a reporter would ask them a question. Ms. Ross would literally elbow the other girls and push herself in front of the other Supremes to answer questions that were directed at Mary and Florence. So I was not surprised in the least, as a teenager, when Diana Ross “took over.” I was just extremely amazed that it was okay and, since at that age, that kind of behavior was punished, I really couldn’t understand why. So, however late it may be in coming, kudos to Jennifer for honoring Florence Ballard and dedicating her Golden Globe award to Flo during her acceptance speech.
Eddie Murphy, up against some pretty stiff competition, including Brad Pitt and Jack Nicholson, won the best supporting actor award for his role as James “Thunder” Early, bringing Dreamgirls’ total wins up to two. Neither Jennifer Hudson nor Eddie Murphy mentioned the other members of the cast in their acceptance speeches, although they did thank a lot of people.
While the film’s “Listen,” with music and lyrics by Knowles, Henry Krieger, Anne Preven and Scott Cutler, was up for best original song in a motion picture, it lost to Prince’s “The Song of the Heart” in “Happy Feet.”
In the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, Beyonce Knowles, along with Renee Zellweger, Annette Bening and Toni Collette, lost the award to Meryl Streep for her role in “The Devil Wears Prada,” which comes as no big shock, since Meryl Streep is one of the most amazing actresses in the world.
I guess they didn’t have enough comedies and musicals to have a separate award for a comedy and a musical, so they made one category for Best Comedy or Musical. In this category, “Dreamgirls” was up against the hilarious “Borat”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Thank You For Smoking.” Jamie Foxx appeared onstage to present a clip from “Dreamgirls” as Beyonce beamed, sitting next to her beau, Jay Z. Great musicals thrill us, and if they tell a story, like “Dreamgirls”, that’s even better (particularly if we lived through the era that the story happened in and can compare it to things we actually read or saw on television).
Great comedies make us laugh. I’m still trying to see how comedies and musicals can end up on the same category, but I can’t. With four comedies and one musical, I really didn’t feel that “Dreamgirls” had a snowball’s chance in hell. But I was wrong! Jennifer Lopez was the presenter and even as she read the names of the nominated films, “Dreamgirls” got the most applause and was the winner.
All in all, “Dreamgirls” walked away with three Golden Globes: Best Musical or Comedy, a supporting Actor and supporting Actress award and that is far from shabby. With this track record, the film is bound to garner a few Oscar nominations as well.