The new biopic of Aretha Franklin... I rarely enjoy biopics of music stars, but I really enjoyed it. It helped that I knew a bit about many of the people portrayed -- Jerry Wexler, Rick Hall, Erma and Carolyn Franklin etc -- but if one doesn't, it isn't crucial. At a couple of point we see Smokey Robinson trying to recruit Aretha to Motown; I didn't twig till later that it was supposed to be Smokey.

I also wasn't bothered by the length of it. In fact, I was sorry that it was a film, not as mini-series. The film looks good, with great period detail, and it sounds good, as it should.The session scenes are particularly good.

And then there's the portrayal of Aretha. The kid who plays the younger Aretha is remarkable, as a thespian and as an entertainer. I was sorry when Aretha grew up. But Jennifer Hudson... what a pitch-perfect performance! It's not a perfect imitation, and it's not intended to be, but Hudson inhabits the role so well, that even though she doesn't look like Aretha, you buy it that she is. I think it's a rare achievement in biopics.