2hrs 25mins

Jennifer Hudson’s portrayal of Aretha Franklin, the legendary ‘Queen of Soul’, is an astonishingly assured feat of musical talent and a well-observed, gestural performance that carries this entertaining biopic through the turbulence and inspiration of Franklin’s music, beliefs and relationships.

Liesl Tommy

Exploring vocal and artistic virtuosity that endured and transcended hardships across the political and personal, the film charts Franklin’s musical evolution against the backdrop of civil liberties, Martin Luther King, and her own activist commitment in the fight for equality.

Strong supporting performances from Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Black Panther) as Aretha’s father, and Audra McDonald (primarily known as a stage actor and the recipient of 6 Tony awards) as her mother, both stand out alongside a brilliantly-cast appearance of the singer Mary J. Blige. Respect must also be noted as an exciting directorial debut by Liesl Tommy, whose background in theatre led her to recently become the first woman of colour to be nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play.

Powerfully founded on captivating performances, Jennifer Hudson’s vocal cords and the source material of a unique force in music history, Respect is an immersive tribute to the life and work of a singer whose influence and significance, across music and socio-political history, justifiably continues to command R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

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