Where I Watched It: Paramount Plus

English Audio Description?: Yes

The funny thing is, I saw this sitting forever on Prime, and it didn’t have AD. Then it popped up on paramount Plus, and suddenly audio description existed, so i could finally watch Jennifer Hudson do her thing as Aretha Franklin.

i had already watched a break down of Hudson’s voice, and how she actually tried to match Aretha’s tone and runs, and not just put her own spin on it. Every note she went for was Aretha’s note. It’s a solid performance, it’s just not as great of a film. The problem is we got two great Aretha Franklin projects, and even though I think Cynthia Erivo is a tremendous talent, Hudson had the better performance, but Erivo had the better production.

Hudson’s Respect is bogged down by trying to shove everything into a tight runtime, whereas Erivo’s limited Genius series allowed the ensemble to breathe, and we learned more about her life. Neither project is bad, and neither actress is bad. It’s just picking one over the other. But, Respect doesn’t quite earn what it’s title demands, and a lot of that just has to do with the structure and the way the story is told. It’s the choices made, of what to include, and what not.

And while I loved the audio description, I would like Paramount Plus to stop assuming that after I watch Respect, I’d really like to watch a jackass movie. No. I don’t. I want to know who narrated this, and that means watching the credits.

Considering I hated Kristen Stewart and Spencer, I’ll say Jennifer Hudson was robbed last year of a nomination. Then again, several actresses were.

Final Grade: B

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