The following is an unedited trasncript.
The big-scale, mainstream biopic is back with Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, 2006) playing Aretha Franklin. Starting out as a young, devout, church girl in Detroit who, through perseverance and raw talent, becomes the queen of soul. First, let me say Jennifer Hudson's musical performance is brilliant. Singing all the songs in the film live without any lip-syncing or dubbing with studio recordings, her voice is limber, assertive, deep, and alarming. The star of Respect is really the music, with parts of the film's 2-hour-and-25-minute run time showing the loose, organic, collaborative creation of famous songs. Those scenes feel easy and well-crafted. Those scenes are also effective in showing Aretha Franklin as a gifted music producer, pianist, and song arranger.