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Joyful Noise: Movie Review
A Joyful Movie
Talk about a “feel good” movie. Joyful Noise, starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan, makes the audience want to sing and dance as they leave the theater when the movie ends. It’s the kind of movie that makes the audience just automatically clap as the last number ends. Joyful Noise, directed by Todd Graff, is definitely worth going to see!
The movie’s plot centers around the annual choir competition, which Pacashau's Sacred Divinity Church choir always loses at regionals to a more polished group led by gospel great, Kirk Franklin. This year’s competition means much for the town of Pacashua, GA since the economy has hit its residents extremely hard and spirits are at rock bottom. For the first time, the choir does get past regionals and are set to go to the finals in LA only to have the rug pulled out from beneath them by the pastor who does not like the upbeat tunes and the rather street-wise choreography introduced by Dolly Parton’s happy-go-lucky grandson who shows up after his mother puts him out of her house. He becomes the catalyst for several subplots and conflicts. The most endearing subplot deals with Queen Latifah’s teen-aged son (excellently played by Dexter Darden) who suffers from Asberger’s Syndrome. Jeremy Jordan’s character teaches him piano and helps him begin to come out of his one-dimensional shell.
Joyful Noise has a little something for everyone by way of conflict. There’s mother-daughter conflict (Queen Latifah vs Keke), small town neighbor conflict (Queen Latifah-Dolly), choir-pastor conflict (Dolly-Courtney B. Vance), boy-girl-boy conflict (Keke- Jeremy-Paul Woolfolk), husband-wife (Queen Latifah and Jesse L. Martin) and human-God conflict (two characters question God’s good will). The movie also deals a little with grief since Dolly Parton's husband, the former choir director, played by Kris Kristofferson, dies in the opening scene. There's a beautiful scene near the end where Dolly and Jeremy sing the duet that the couple used to sing and dance to, and she envisions them dancing on the front lawn again. The final conflict occurs at the choir competition where Pacashau's Sacred Divinity finds itself going head to head against an unbelieveably talented children's choir. That's one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
The vehicle that moves the movie forward is the music. In case you didn’t know, Dolly Parton can still sing! Audiences see Queen Latifah in a whole new light as she sings—not raps—the upbeat spirit-filled tunes and the one soft soul-filled song that asks Jesus to “Fix me.” The big surprise of the movie is Keke Palmer who we’ve seen on the big screen since she was nine, but had never heard sing before. She and Jeremy Jordan rip it up on stage together.
Joyful Noise just opened today, January 13, 2012, to positive reviews. I’m just adding mine to the mix. Go see it; you won’t be sorry.
Joyful Noise Trailer
- JOYFUL NOISE Movie Trailer 2012 Official [HD] - YouTube
Joyful Noise Trailer 2012 - official movie trailer - starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton Two choir members have differing opinions on how to win the nati...