I’ve heard that Leisl Tommy‘s Respect (UA Releasing, 8.13.21) is a generally dependable biopic that hits the basic marks and does what Aretha Franklin fans will want it to do…cool.
A gifted young girl, loved and nurtured, has a singing destiny, and damned if she doesn’t fulfill it. Early childhood in Memphis and Chicago, the usual hurdles and hardships, and then wrapping it all up with the January 1972 Amazing Grace concert inside L.A.’s New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
A friend saw Respect months ago, and I must have asked three or four times if that Muscle Shoals recording studio episode (i.e., the recording of “I Never Loved A Man”) is part of Respect or not. He never quite gave me a clean answer, but I’m getting a feeling that it might not be, possibly because the savior of that session wasn’t Aretha but the great Spooner Oldham, who came up with the Wurlitzer riff that made that song work from the get-go.