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Aretha Franklin ‘Respect’ Movie: A Tale of Amazing Grace

It has been a season of biopics for iconic musicians, from Brian Wilson to Elton John. Now we can add “the queen of soul,” Aretha Franklin to the list with ‘Respect.’

The film features Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson – handpicked for the part by Franklin herself – in a role that could secure another Oscar for the talented actor and singer. There are moments where Hudson disappears so fully into the character, that one feels as though they are watching documentary footage. The movie spans Aretha’s lifetime, from the loss of her loving mother in her childhood, through her meteoric rise to stardom – with all it’s blessings and temptations – to the dark days of her broken marriage. The film concludes with Aretha finally emerging into the light of love in her family and her church.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, with a moving story by Tracey Scott Wilson and Callie Khouri, ‘Respect’ is follows Franklin through the maze of discovery to super stardom. The movie also stars Forest Whitaker, Audra Day, Tituss Burgess, Marc Maron, and Marlon Wayans.

Through the pre-production and planning stages, lead actress Jennifer Hudson formed a special bond with the real Aretha Franklin, who passed away in 2018. “I miss hearing from her,” Hudson explained. “I used to hear from her weekly.”

The film’s creators desired to show the full story, both the good and the bad, of Aretha’s amazing career – ending with the filming and recording of her 1972 album, “Amazing Grace.”

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