RESPECT Is Giving Us the Aretha Franklin Glamour We Deserve

Illustration for article titled RESPECT Is Giving Us the Aretha Franklin Glamour We Deserve
Screenshot: Youtube

The full trailer for the Aretha Franklin biopic, RESPECT, is finally out. I gotta say, in a year full of bad movies, I’m extremely about this one.

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RESPECT is a portrait of Aretha Franklin’s life starring Jennifer Hudson in the starring role, alongside Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, and even Tituss Burgess. It’s directed by Liesl Tommy—the first Black woman and first woman of color to be nominated for best director at the Tony Awards—and written by Tracey Scott Wilson, a Peabody Award-winning screenwriter who previously worked on hits like The Americans.

All in all, it seems like an all-star ensemble to make a hit biopic.

Even more exciting are the quick peeks at the costume work, which deliver the hotly-anticipated glamour one might expect from a bio about one of the music industry’s original divas. Look! Look!

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Screenshot: Youtube

Who else is excited? I’m excited.

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Screenshot: Youtube

There’s even some exceptionally edited stills to make it seem like moments in the film were captured in original black-and-white, an artistic choice I highly respect, and one I hope pays off in the finished product.

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Screenshot: Youtube
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Its official release is scheduled for the tail end of summer, on August 13, 2021. I don’t mind waiting through a slog of superhero blockbusters and action-adventures, though, if I know RESPECT is waiting for everyone on the other side of it.

DISCUSSION

archaeopterixmajorus
Archaeyopterix Majorus

I gotta say, I really dig the opposing parallel of Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson’s careers, and that Jennifer has kept it upward and avoided the TV trap. It reflects on different personalities differently, but for some TV just seems to be the beginning of a long drag on their careers. I do enjoy me a Jennifer Hudson role too, she definitely has heart and seems to try and eagerly, with enthusiasm, throw herself into her roles. I wonder if she is doing the actual singing for the film, certainly she is, it seems obscene or absurd that you’d cast Jennifer Hudson and not have her sing Aretha.

I think if I have animosity, it is the fatigue of a 40-something man, but human because her gender or sexuality has nothing to do with it, who was been more then pitched, presented, and advertised to with Kelly Clarkson long before her TV phase, which has just been wretched commercials and ‘hey y’all’ performative down-hominess culminating in a talk show.  Not so prolifically frustratingly ever-present as Duane Johnson, but the same type of exhaustion at the repeated presentation of a personality for ‘like me’.