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Visual Hollywood

JOYFUL NOISE (2012)
 
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Release Date: January 13, 2012
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Todd Graff
Screenwriter: Todd Graff
Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Courtney B. Vance, Jeremy Jordan, Kris Kristofferson
Genre: Comedy, Musical
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some language including a sexual reference)
Official Website: JoyfulNoisethemovie.com

STUDIO SYNOPSIS: "Joyful Noise" is a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal. The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old. Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.'s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose's beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose. If these two strong-willed women can put aside their differences for the good of the people in their town, they--and their choir--may make the most joyful noise of all.
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VISUAL REVIEW


Joyful Noise" is a story of music, hope, love and renewal.


(iPad/iPhone here) The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.





Drawing on childhood memories, director and writer Todd Graff crafted his tale about two strong-minded, but opposite women in a small town Southern gospel choir who trade high notes and low blows in their heated and humorous quest to win the Joyful Noise national choir competition and bring hope to their struggling town.


Two movie and music icons, Queen Latifah, whose given name is Dana, and Dolly Parton, play the choir's embattled leading ladies. Like Graff, the director, Latifah was also influenced by various relatives who directed choirs.


Dolly Parton plays G.G. Sparrow, the feisty church benefactor who wants to bring its choir into the 21st century.


Graff discovered Jeremy Jordan by happy accident while attending a Broadway production of "Rock of Ages." He recalls, "I saw this kid who it turns out was the understudy. He blew me away, so much so that the next day I tracked down his agent, who told me it was the first time Jeremy had ever been on a stage in New York in his life...and I just happened to be in the audience. By the end of our first meeting I knew he was our guy."


Rising young music artist and actress Keke Palmer plays Olivia. Keke Palmer and Latifah have been in several film together. "I've known Keke since she was little," Latifah recounts, "so to see her all grown up and doing her thing is pretty awesome. Her energy and her talent are just unbelievable."

(iPad/iPhone here) Keke Palmer remarks, "Pretty much anything that isn't straight out of the Bible, Vi Rose is against. Olivia's trying to sort out all these feelings, about her mom, herself, Randy, and the fact that her dad's not around. So she rebels."


Multi-generational and multi-ethnical! Catherine Paura also produced the film with her longtime partner Joseph Farrell, who sadly passed away in December. Paura says, "We fell in love with all the vivid multi-generational characters Todd had laced in so well with the musical component. Then both Dolly's and Queen Latifah's names came up and we thought, 'Oh, wouldn't we be lucky if'...and boy, were we lucky."


(iPad/iPhone here) Vi Rose may not be happy about the budding romance between Randy and her daughter, but she warms up to him when he seems to be the only one able to connect with her 15-year-old son Walter, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome. It all happens within the common ground of music.





(iPad/iPhone here) The strongest enemy of prejudice is relationship. There's a unique relationship building aspect in the movie: the choir of the Pacashau Sacred Divinity Church. It is the one remaining sliver of silver lining in this hard-hit town that people can still comw together and enjoy. It not only symbolizes that hope lies ahead, but reflects the close knit ties among the citizens, no matter if times are good or bad.




(iPad/iPhone here)


Producer Michael Nathanson attests, "'Joyful Noise' is a movie with heart. Music itself is a character in the film, spanning the full spectrum that all ages can enjoy, from Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney songs, to Dolly's original compositions, including the rousing "Not Enough," to Queen Latifah's powerful traditional gospel solo on 'Fix Me Jesus.'"


Production designer Jeff Knipp: At the core of the story and the community was the church, which Knipp saw as "the cornerstone from where the design would ultimately go."


Latifah: "We have this great choir in the film that just brings so much energy and life to everything; it was exciting to be part of that."

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