Warning: Spoilers ahead
Within the first 10 minutes of Respect, I felt goosebumps down my arm.
A young Aretha Franklin (Skye Dakota Turner) passionately sang for her father’s guests in the opening scene—and I felt like I was in the thick of it, clapping along with the characters as little “Re” hit high notes that normally only a seasoned vocalist could pull off. Fortunately, this number was just a taste of what was to come, because throughout the rest of the film, I found myself totally captivated by Jennifer Hudson's performance (who plays the adult Franklin). After two hours of show-stopping vocals and stellar performances by the rest of the cast, I was literally on the verge of tears as Hudson sang “Amazing Grace.”
For those who aren't familiar with the upcoming biopic, which hits theaters on August 13, it follows the soul legend’s personal life and career, from her difficult childhood and Christian upbringing to her civil rights activism and rise to fame during the '60s. Now that I’ve seen it, I can say that I have an even deeper respect for Franklin. Not just because it highlights her influence as the Queen of Soul, but also because it sheds light on her humanity and sheer resilience.