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Popcorn by Michael GoldbergerBy Michael S. Goldberger, film critic

If the Oscar qualification read “Best Performed Classic Song” rather than “Best Original Song,” then Beyonce Knowles would be in line for an Academy Award. Playing Blues/Rock firebrand Etta James in Darnell Martin’s “Cadillac Records,” her belting out of “At Last” is a showstopper of the defining moment variety. We emit a big “whew!”

As entertaining as it is informative, the history lesson focusing on the musical comings and goings at Chess Records from the late 1940s through the mid ‘60s often elicits such emotional response. Powerfully interpreted as a crucible within the greater class/racial struggle, the importance of the saga allows us to forgive its frequently ragged edges.

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