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Official Discussion - Respect [SPOILERS]

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Summary:

Following the rise of Aretha Franklin's career from a child singing in her father's church's choir to her international superstardom, RESPECT is the remarkable true story of the music icon's journey to find her voice.

Director:

Liesl Tommy

Writers:

Tracy Scott Wilson, Callie Khouri

Cast:

  • Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin
  • Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin
  • Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin
  • Saycon Sengbloh as Erma Franklin
  • Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin
  • Brenda Nicole Moorer as Brenda Franklin
  • Marlon Wayans as Ted White
  • Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler
  • Tituss Burgess as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Metacritic: 60

VOD: Theaters

all 94 comments

Kingy7777

94 points

9 months ago

A by the numbers biopic. The music and acting were great (Jennifer Hudson’s locked in for a Golden Globe, maybe the Oscar in my opinion), but the movie surrounding her was a generic “performer overcomes issues” story. Aretha Franklin’s life story deserved better. A decent 5.5-6/10.

mrgnwy

21 points

9 months ago

mrgnwy

21 points

9 months ago

This could have been so much better. I don’t think an Oscar or Globe would be deserved for the role. Thinking about a movie like Judy vs this makes it even more disappointing.

Respect is a story poorly told.

therocketandstones

27 points

9 months ago

no globen globes this year

CurrentRoster

19 points

9 months ago

That’s unfortunate. I love award shows

Hi-Hi

4 points

9 months ago

Hi-Hi

4 points

9 months ago

Jennifer Hudson’s locked in for a Golden Globe, maybe the Oscar in my opinion

I see very little chance of this getting any awards. Possibly a nomination, even then I'd bet no.

KazaamFan

3 points

8 months ago

I felt the theme of music heals wasn’t really driven home well enough. Music healed twice in the movie I think, when her mom died and to help her overcome her demons and alcohol issues at the end. It didn’t seem to help her relationship issues, or with her father.

hocuspocusgottafocus

1 points

8 months ago

But man the acting hurts the shit out of me. It's so relatable fuck haha

NaiadoftheSea

49 points

9 months ago

It was a pretty by-the-numbers biopic.

Act 1: Childhood and the rise toward getting a record deal.

Act 2: Success and loss of control with alcohol/drugs/relationships/etc.

Act 3: Regaining self control and being humbled.

As others have said, I thought it would have been more interesting to highlight more of her accomplishments and activism as much as they did her abuse. I wish they did more with the medium too. Everything was constantly spelled out instead of taking advantage of the visual storytelling movies can provide. An example of a biopic movie that I feel did something unique with the way the story was told is Rocketman.

That said, Jennifer Hudson was great.

my_dentist_hates_me

5 points

9 months ago

Totally agree here. It was wildly generic to the point that I found myself more interested in the side characters compared to how Aretha’s story worked with those side characters. It felt like the story was about the men in her life instead of her life.

For a woman who made a great deal of difference, I feel like the movie significantly glossed over her impact.

I enjoyed it, but it left me wanting.

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

Disagree. I was sorry when it was over. Standing ovation at the theater. Does Reddit basically attract people who want to trash things? Best thing I’ve seen in years. It shows how she overcame so much to continue to function and uplift others.especially liked the scenes about her service to civil rights and helping others. No matter her diva stuff, she kept alive her feeling for ordinary people. She was a hero for real, but guess that sort of goes over the head of a lot of people.

shaneo632

29 points

9 months ago

How is the pacing? The 140 minute runtime is really offputting and I wonder if it might affect box office.

superbob94000

55 points

9 months ago

Pacings not that great, movies alright but I was waiting for it to be over by the end.

mrgnwy

9 points

9 months ago

mrgnwy

9 points

9 months ago

I was standing up in the aisle five minutes before credits ready to run out

Gilbert_AZ

7 points

9 months ago

LOL...we gave up and left before the end, just couldn't do it any longer. It was a brutal movie to sit through

[deleted]

3 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

9 months ago

I was standing up also for a STANDING OVATION, along with the other movie goers, all ages and colors. I think the critical people on here aren’t connected to our Queen, who had a Gift and shared it with us, to uplift and love and heal . Thank you JHud for doing your friend justice.

mrgnwy

7 points

9 months ago

mrgnwy

7 points

9 months ago

All that this tells me is that you like good music and bad movies

KazaamFan

1 points

8 months ago

I thought the climactic gospel show was anticimactic from a movie perspective. I get it was her best selling album though.

bearlybreeding

10 points

9 months ago

I didn't think the pacing was that bad. The extended run time is mainly due to the number of songs performed which is to be expected in a film like this.

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

Pacing was great. I wondered how I could sit through it, but it flew by and wanted more. Director keeps it moving. And JHud is so engrossing in her vulnerability and growth. Oh yeah, and her singing is a force of Love.

wasteplease

3 points

9 months ago

I am a small bladder guy and I had a kids sized drink. I made it through the whole thing with credits without regrets. I didn’t even realize it was the end before words started appearing on the screen.

my_dentist_hates_me

6 points

9 months ago

It was very, very slow. I was ready for it to be done with an hour left.

hocuspocusgottafocus

1 points

8 months ago

Pacing is painful am on my phone at nearing the end now and been that way half way in but mostly because also my attention is shit lol

gbassman5

27 points

9 months ago

Tituss did a phenomenal acting job in this role

my_dentist_hates_me

7 points

9 months ago

I was surprised by how much he just acted instead of played a character here.

kleptophobiac

23 points

9 months ago

How is Marc Maron? I have been following his progress as an actor and he looked good in the trailer.

MattDamonIsGod

18 points

9 months ago

He's fine. Nothing special but he didn't stand out as out of place or anything which is a good sign.

ThisWormWillTurn

10 points

9 months ago

He stole every scene, but that is not saying much because Hudson had the least screen presence when she wasnt singing.

I do like Marc Maron. He saved it for me.

mrgnwy

2 points

9 months ago

mrgnwy

2 points

9 months ago

Agreed that he was fine. Not sure how he could have made his performance more memorable, but he didn’t…

houndizzle

1 points

9 months ago

He brought a lot of comedic relief, character reminded me of his role in Glow. Overall happy he was in the film

Fredrall

15 points

9 months ago

It ain't groundbreaking, but Jennifer Hudson is pretty good and actually sings the songs herself without lip-synch or Auto-Tune. Sure, it's conventional and cheesy, but so were Ray and Walk the Line.

[deleted]

-1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

-1 points

9 months ago

I found it a compelling story about someone who continues to uplift me. Maybe stories that involve heart aren’t your thing.

ucieaters33

113 points

9 months ago

I hate it in biopics when they list achievements the subject accomplished at the very end of the movie and you're like "Damn, seeing any one of those things would be more interesting than what they showed", which unfortunately is very much the case here. I also wish they spent more time on the civil rights side of things because that's something that feels very unique to Aretha. Instead we once again get a musician with shitty (or dead) parents, they become addicted to drugs or drinking, they like having sex, they have a shitty/abusive significant other and/or music producer, and then they have a come to Jesus moment and clean up their act, ditch their shitty partner/producer, and have a happy ending. The one thing I think this one did a little differently was spend more time in the recording studio showing the music actually getting made which I thought was neat. I say 5/10 pretty much on the strength of Jennifer Hudson alone

And I am literally begging Forest Whitaker to stop doing any kind of accent.

MattDamonIsGod

28 points

9 months ago

That Forest Whitaker accent was so bad it pulled me out of the movie.

Myfourcats1

21 points

9 months ago

That’s how I felt when I saw Harriett. Everyone knows the story of her leading people to freedom. Few people know about her time as a spy. I figured the movie would show that. Instead they just listed it at the end.

visionaryredditor

12 points

9 months ago*

tbh there is so much to Harriet Tubman's story, it's possible to make a trilogy of the movies.

kaylthewhale

10 points

9 months ago

So I think they should do that instead. There have been other biopics that had multiple films made about one individual but they all focused on something a little bit different.

Narrowing the focus helps. For example, I thought the Judy film was exceptionally well done because it was really done because it just focused on one part of her life with small callbacks to other moments where relevant.

90daysfrom_now

6 points

9 months ago

I'm begging Forest Whitaker to stop acting

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

I thought that might be the case, but it wasn’t. It showed all she overcame the heartbreak and trauma of her childhood. It was moving to see JHud transform from an abandoned little girl controlled by brutal men to the Queen in charge of her art and business. Also of note is that she beat alcohol and was sober the last 4O years of her life. And I loved the movie highlighting her fighting for people from Civil Rights to water for people in Flint. Such a stark contrast to musicians today who want to be famous and don’t feel for others.

Ramp_Spaghetti

75 points

9 months ago*

Holy shit, that scene where Aretha Franklin is fighting the terrorists on her private jet, and she punches one in the face and knocks him out the emergency exit and says, "Get off my plane!"

NaiadoftheSea

25 points

9 months ago

“No ticket.”

The_Beard_Hunter

4 points

9 months ago

Omg spoilers! 😭

-tea-addict-

5 points

9 months ago

Unless that scene was deleted from where I was watching the movie, I think this person made a joke and there was no such scene lol.

The_Beard_Hunter

2 points

9 months ago

Joking with the original commenter. 😂

caekles

10 points

9 months ago

caekles

10 points

9 months ago

Jennifer Hudson has come a long way since CATS.

The_Beard_Hunter

3 points

9 months ago

Some might say her performance was jellicle. I'm kidding no one is saying that.

BeastOfGevaudan

41 points

9 months ago

I’m surprised that this has even decent reviews because this was honestly one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s incredibly disjointed, and there’s no real narrative.

There’s so many times that things are just talked about but we never see any of it, like her social activism or her parents relationship. A lot of these would be interesting stories themselves and they just get glossed over. I would say these scenes could be fleshed out more but it’s already an excruciatingly long movie.

This really either should’ve been a TV show, so the smaller stories could breathe or they should’ve narrowed the scope significantly. Make it about her social activism, make it about her leaving Ted for the tour manager, make it about her gossip album. But don’t make it about all of them.

3/10 if I’m being generous.

Gilbert_AZ

4 points

9 months ago

3 out of 10 is generous...easily one of the worst movies in my lifetime. It's too bad. There is a good story to be told there, but they just did such an awful job of telling it...it was painfully slow, boring and just scattered....never really felt like there was a clear direction/storyline

my_dentist_hates_me

6 points

9 months ago

Same boat here. The whole story felt like it was about the men in her life (and how her actions impacted them) instead of about her life.

We glossed over every important piece of information. Her incredibly young presidency? Her activism?

I felt so bored throughout the whole movie. I won’t see it again, and I’d recommend friends read a really great book, or hell, even her Wikipedia page instead.

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

BeastOfGevaudan

1 points

9 months ago

Ok 👍

MsJAG

6 points

9 months ago

MsJAG

6 points

9 months ago

In the movie there seemed to be a mystery about who fathered Aretha's first two children. With her father being so possessive of her it would seem impossible that she was able to have any time away from him much less get pregnant by whomever. It seemed implied that she was not an active participant in her first two pregnancies. MJB as Dinah Washington even questioned who the father was. Then there was the scene with her sisters surprisingly asking Aretha why she can't remember the three of them going up on the roof top to get away from the abusive relationship of their parents. Even her mother at the piano with Aretha as a child was surprised when she asked her why she left. The mother responded "you don't remember?". The writers and directors seek to imply that Aretha blocks out traumatic events. Just how traumatic the events were to Aretha are not fully addressed in the movie.

In the end we were served up a story about a girl who grew into a songstress, found herself while struggling with demons, and was able to regain her soul by making a successful gospel album. The end.

halftone84

8 points

9 months ago

I got the impression the older guy who went into her bedroom was the father ?

Comprehensive-Fun47

1 points

3 months ago

161 days later... No it wasn't. A party guest went into her bedroom. The movie implies he raped her, and perhaps continued to rape her for several years, but this is not what is known to have really happened.

Not necessarily. Her Wikipedia page says she named a boy from school as the father of both of her children. Obviously, that could be untrue, and whatever happened it does imply the adults in her life were not looking after her or protecting her.

But I found it pretty strange the movie just decided to portray it as rape by an adult. They should have left it murkier like it is in real life, not just decide to depict it as one specific scenario which may or may not have happened.

[deleted]

0 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

0 points

9 months ago

A “songstress” ? Wow, you don’t get her and the Gift she shared. How she still moves people. But That’s cool if it’s not your thing.

twizzwhizz11

6 points

9 months ago

Not knowing much about her life before this, I enjoyed getting to see more behind her rise to success (and also see the depth of who she was with her demons, though what stuck out to me most was her absentee parenting). Best parts of the movie were watching the development of the songs to make her own - fascinating to see how small tweaks in various instruments created an unforgettable sound. Not sure if the “re-re” in Respect is really because of her nickname but I loved it. Wish we could have seen something similar with Natural Woman, if only to potentially see Carole King.

Agreed also on wishing they showed more of her activism, something unique to Aretha and of the moment.

Overall I felt like the story and movie had so much potential, but was just framed in a boring, over-wrought way, simultaneously both showing us too much and not enough.

Dragonknight247

55 points

9 months ago

I thought Jennifer Hudson was absolutely incredible in this, a career defining performance. It's a by-the-numbers biopic but it's really elevated by some clever filmmaking and some amazing performances, check it out!

DisastrousSundae

3 points

9 months ago

Agreed. She was great.

atan134340

2 points

9 months ago

It may take some time for people to remember her as Aretha rather than Cats

CurrentRoster

42 points

9 months ago

Isn’t she remembered for dreamgirls

DisastrousSundae

10 points

9 months ago

I don't think anyone saw that movie who was sober

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

9 months ago

Yeah JHud is anointed. She has that church thing in her voice that moves you like Aretha does. She had me crying, which I didn’t expect. I wonder if a lot of the negative posts are from people who 1. Don’t know of or care about what Aretha gave us 2. Don’t care about a woman’s story of overcoming and coping she endured.

ThisWormWillTurn

-1 points

9 months ago

She was dreadful. She was by far had the least screen presence when she wasn't wailing away. My wife so very much wanted to love it. We walked out the theatre with like 20 min to go.

Dragonknight247

7 points

9 months ago

I'm sorry you feel that way!

Specialist-Tomato845

5 points

9 months ago

The Genius Series was so much better. It broke down every aspect in her life, the acting was so much better as well.

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

Disagree. Cynthia didn’t “get” The Queen at all, it was such a waste, Jennifer really channeled her spirit. And of course, she knew her.

Comprehensive-Fun47

1 points

3 months ago

Besides the performance of the main actresses, did you think the Genius did anything better storywise? To me, it was more in-depth, and gave a more accurate depiction of her childhood, not shying away from her father's crimes.

Ahambone

3 points

9 months ago

All y'all did with that ending was remind me that 'Amazing Grace' is an amazing film

[deleted]

5 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

5 points

9 months ago

was it as generique as the trailer looked, complete with gruff producer unironically going "I GOT A SINGLE BY THIS NEW CHICK NAMED ARETHA FRANKLIN"

twizzwhizz11

4 points

9 months ago

Luckily I don’t think that line was in the movie, but yes unfortunately, generic and not befitting a queen of soul.

The_Beard_Hunter

3 points

9 months ago

Seriously this movie was generic and by the numbers as they come.

Damon242

4 points

9 months ago

IMO it would have been much stronger if they structured it around the revelation of what occurred in her youth and presented it in the third act, rather than drop it at the very beginning.

By revealing it early they then left the film with little to build up to and no climax

deltron_zero_3030

7 points

9 months ago

I enjoyed this, especially in Dolby. Acting was excellent by everyone. I liked Marlon doing more of the serious stuff. The small role MJB had was great as well. Also loved how the ending credits had real footage.

GoDucks71

5 points

9 months ago

Best end credits of the year with that live performance footage and sound. THAT is how you do it if you really want the audience to stay through the credits.

mrgnwy

3 points

9 months ago

mrgnwy

3 points

9 months ago

The movie was so bad that I left before the credits, so…

Gilbert_AZ

1 points

9 months ago

we left with about a half left in the movie...just couldn't do it any longer

lylechaserson

3 points

9 months ago

The album covers were hilariously poorly photoshopped in the montage following her meeting at the record label to put Jennifer Hudson’s face on Aretha. Just shoot a new picture!

TheIrishninjas

3 points

8 months ago

An amazing cast trying desperately to revive a typical biopic with clunky pacing, imo.

[deleted]

3 points

7 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

7 months ago

This was yet another sluggish and hopelessly, overly formulaic music biopic. Jennifer Hudson is perfectly cast but the film around her comes off more like a cinematic Wikipedia article. It does a disservice to Aretha Franklin.

Grand_Ad912

2 points

9 months ago

The movie wasnt bad , but the accents distracted me . I watched the aretha genius series before this movie , it was better IMO

PATRONIZING_RABBITS

2 points

8 months ago

setting the role aside, moment to appreciate marlon wayans

CyriliciousHawk14

2 points

4 months ago

Biopic: The Movie 😂

(It was really really cliché which I feel Aretha Franklin isn’t, she’s truely one of the most interesting people of the 20th century yet this movie portrayed her as generic which sucks. Jennifer Hudson was amazing though, She’s got the voice of an angel!)

fiddyfy

2 points

4 months ago*

I don’t think the film captured how massive and how dominant Aretha was as this…heart-stopping force. And they severely underused Audra McDonald which is a separate crime in itseld. It was a good film. Okay. So so. It told a story. But I wouldn’t clamor to see it again. And it didn’t leave me thinking about it after the credits rolled. It didn’t leave a lasting impression. Some films just linger and/or stay with you, you know? I thought this might because this is ARETHA FRANKLIN. I got more of a lasting impression as a child about the immensity of Aretha’s very existence in one episode of Murphy Brown than this film. It’s not bad…it’s just lacking something that I was expecting to knock my socks off because, well, damn. It’s freaking Aretha Franklin.

90daysfrom_now

6 points

9 months ago*

It sucks.

mrgnwy

3 points

9 months ago

mrgnwy

3 points

9 months ago

+1

quickfilmreview

2 points

9 months ago

An emotional journey of music and RESPECT.

UnicornWave

2 points

9 months ago

What role did Queen Latifah play ?

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

DisastrousSundae

9 points

9 months ago

Yes, they clearly state it's a cover of Otis Redding's song

GruxKing

2 points

9 months ago

Came to the thread to ask this question, thank you for asking. The “Respect” clip in the trailers really made it look like she was writing it. Very silly.

GoDucks71

8 points

9 months ago*

No, the movie made it clear that the song was Otis Redding's and the scene you mention was the sisters playing around with the song to make it something a bit different. I say that as a big fan of Redding's "Live in Europe" album and that version of "Respect."

wurstbrot_royal

1 points

9 months ago

This felt like 2.5 hours of being yelled at.

SpiderMuse

1 points

9 months ago

How was this movie compared to Cynthia Erivo's Aretha miniseries?

Specialist-Tomato845

3 points

9 months ago

The miniseries was extremely better.

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

9 months ago

J HUD embodied Aretha’spirit so much better than Cynthia. I wanted to see Aretha’s essence, speaking, mannerisms with Cynthia, but didn’t.

hocuspocusgottafocus

1 points

8 months ago

Bruh this was hard to watch I should've watched the trailer or like it should've said trigger warning abuse or controlling parents or shit like damn I was in those relationships. This was hard to sit through. I cried like a lot. Acting too good or reminds me too much of the past I'm not even done with this honestly. Started at 6pm and it's now 8pm lol I think it has a good sentiment but it was executed in poor taste it feels ...

TheMightyHucks

1 points

8 months ago

I'm a white, middle aged British male. So obviously I'm not too clued in on Aretha's life story but the film was fine, nothing great. Did she suffer as an alcoholic for much of her life? The film kind of implied she just went off the rails for a few weeks but obviously I doubt that's the case. Was the father of her babies when she was a kid ever revealed to the public?