After inadvertently witnessing a murder, ordered
by her married, mobster boyfriend, a "going nowhere,"
lounge singer, Delores Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg), with an
attitude problem runs to the police, in fear of her life, and
is sent to lay low in an inner city, Catholic church and its conservative
convent, in danger of closing. This experience changes not only
the nuns, but also her outlook & focus in life, as she is
given the task to improve the convent's woeful choir, to keep
her out of trouble, and in the good graces of the Mother Superior
Surprisingly, the atmosphere of the convent,
and the nuns there have a positive influence on Delores, and bring
out her best qualities; her courage, talent, and her leadership
abilities. She uses her musical knowhow, staging ideas and modifies
the Motown hits used in her group's lounge act, to transform the
pathetic choir, into a "soulful chorous of swingin', singing
sisters," that becomes quite an asset to their church, increasing
the congregational numbers and reaching out to the neighborhood.
However, danger lurks around the corner though. Delores finds
herself a sudden celebrity, and in danger of blowing her cover.
Plus, there is an informant for the mob, located in the police
department, who is about to find out where Delores is hiding.
This comedy - musical is well cast and superbly
directed. The script is well-written and hilarious, described
as "Outrageous Fun!" The ensemble cast works well together,
well experienced in the art of comedic timimg. The talented Whoopi
Goldberg is well cast, as Delores, and pulls off her role in her
own humorous style, without a hitch.
Maggie Smith is a seasoned, gifted performer,
who brings Mother Superior to life, as a "formidable woman",
determined to keep the nuns she's responsible for safe, and is
in the beginning resistant to new ideas, reaching out to the poor
community surrounding them, taking chances for the common good.
However, by the end of the movie, her character shows almost as
much growth as Whoopi's Delores.
This film "bursts with 1960s Motown Hits."
The Motown music used by the choir is cleverly adapted for a spiritual
atmosphere, and the other Motown music used in background scenes,
and montages is most enjoyable and fits the storyline well.
Favorite Scenes Include: The Catholic school
scene, which leads to The Lounge Medley, A Witness To Murder,
Mother Superior Meets Deloris, "Hail Holy Queen," Kidnapped,
Nuns To The Rescue, and "I Will Follow Him."
Executive Producer: Scott Rudin. Produced by:
Teri Schwartz. Written by: Joseph Howard. Original Music &
Adaptations by: Marc Shaiman. Edited by: Richard Halsey. Director
of Photography: Adam Greenberg Production Designer: Jackson DeGovia.
Directed by: Emile Ardolino.