Diva de­cline

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“Even Judy Gar­land’s most iconic on-screen bal­lad per­for­mances seem small com­pared with the last lin­ger­ing shot of [‘Dream­girls’ star Jen­nifer] Hud­son, the cam­era whirling over­head as she blasts out a fi­nal ‘You’re gonna love me!’ [. . .]

“The term diva has got­ten rather wa­tered down in cur­rent pop cul­ture us­age, to the point where the ti­tle is given to any mod­er­ately fa­mous ac­tress or singer with an air of hau­teur about her and a per­sonal trainer in her em­ploy.

‘But, in the classical mu­si­cal for­mu­la­tion, Paris Hil­ton is cer­tainly no diva — and for that mat­ter, nei­ther is Mariah Carey or Whit­ney Hous­ton. Old-fash­ioned di­vadom en­tails not just an im­pe­ri­ous at­ti­tude and a big voice, but a theme — pain, par­tic­u­larly as sup­plied by cal­lous men and cruel fate — and a task: to tran­scend that an­guish through cathar­tic decla­ma­tion. You know the di­vas of whom I speak: Maria Cal­las, Edith Piaf, Bil­lie Hol­l­i­day, Gar­land, Aretha Franklin, and to­day’s Queen of Pain, Mary J. Blige. And now, per­haps, Jen­nifer Hud­son.”

Jody Rosen, writ­ing on “The Great­est Song Ever Filmed,” Dec. 21 in at Slate at www.slate.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.