Hudson, the former "American Idol" finalist who plays Effie Melody White in the adaptation of the famed Broadway musical, has also been honored as Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle, Best Breakthrough Performance from the National Board of Review and runner up for the Los Angeles Critics Association's Supporting Actress prize. Other Washington winners include the stage vet Helen Mirren (Broadway's Dance of Death), who added to her slew of Best Actress honors for "The Queen."
Directed by Bill Condon, "Dreamgirls" also stars Beyoncé Knowles as Deena Jones, Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Robinson, Jamie Foxx as Curtis Taylor Jr., Eddie Murphy as James "Thunder Early" and Danny Glover as Marty. Condon also wrote the film's screenplay based on the late Tom Eyen's book. The film employs most of the original score by Eyen and Henry Krieger as well as four new tunes.
"Dreamgirls," according to the film's official website, "follows the rise of a trio of women — Deena (Beyoncé Knowles), Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) — who have formed a promising girl group called The Dreamettes. At a talent competition, they are discovered by an ambitious manager named Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx), who offers them the opportunity of a lifetime: to become the back-up singers for headliner James 'Thunder' Early (Eddie Murphy). Curtis gradually takes control of the girls' look and sound, eventually giving them their own shot in the spotlight as The Dreams. The spotlight, however, begins to narrow in on Deena, finally pushing back the less attractive Effie out altogether. Though the Dreams become a crossover phenomenon, they soon realize that the cost of fame and fortune may be higher than they ever imagined."