In a word: Breathtaking
It’s all about the life and troubled times of the “Queen of Soul” ArethaFranklin, who died at age 76 in 2018 from pancreatic cancer. Without question she was a powerful influence on pop music throughout her life, starting at the tender age of eight.
Born in Detroit in 1942, Aretha’s life was dominated as a child, and her early adulthood, by an overbearing preacher dad, adroitly played by journeyman actor, Forest Whitaker whose obsession to keep Aretha attached exclusively to the church did his child more harm than good.
Nevertheless, her world of music blossomed while greedy promoters and agents tried to selfishly navigate her career. Two of them enjoyed short marriages with her until she had enough from the moochers.
Much like other detailed bios of people famous in entertainment, Aretha had her share of darkness behind the scenes, which eventually were stained with the abuse of alcohol.
Of particular interest, being a mid-level musician (violin) who never accepted “soul” before, I became more fascinated with the sounds than ever before, finding myself involuntarily moving to the rhythms. Boy, could that woman sing.
I never knew that Respect was her greatest selling song title of all time, right behind
Trivia time: This movie was in the works for 4-5 years before it hit the silver screen. Aretha Franklin personally selected Jennifer Hudson to play the role of young Aretha. Miss Hundson, has already won one supporting Oscar for her part in Dreamgirls in 2006. Also, this was the third movie starring Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker together as a father and daughter. By the way, Aretha was the first women elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
I found a few flaws in the settings, particularly with autos that didn’t match the period.
I thought the youngster who played child version of Aretha was not convincing. Most of the acting was otherwise very good, particularly the primary actors. Aretha’s two
backup singers were seemingly as good as Aretha herself. As it turned out, they were her sisters.
I’m sure much was omitted about her array of personal struggles. But the basis for her incredible musical life was abundantly provided. It sure moved me.
I give this movie a 9 out of 10.
I had to attach this link, which is the 1967 sound of Aretha and her back-ups singing Respect. It creates involuntary body motion. Believe Me