Movie Review: RESPECT

Movie Review: RESPECT


Director: Liesl Tommy
Starring: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Marc Maron, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, Titus Burgess, Mary J. Blige, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore

It’s clear that Jennifer Hudson was born to play the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. She’s even said Franklin hand-picked her to star in the film version of her life. Like far too many biopics before it, Respect covers a lot of ground spanning decades of Aretha’s life going back to her troubled childhood. We learn that her father, played by Forest Whitaker, was a respected preacher with a large following. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald stars as her mother who would go on to pass away when Aretha was very young. Her words of advice and love of music never left Aretha. Her childhood was also marked by being sexually assaulted at a very young age. She would continue to sing in her father’s traveling ministries, and he would go on to ignite her music career. She led a rough life plagued with years of mental and physical abuse which she poured into her music. 

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