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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anne Fletcher|
|Produced by||Michael Costigan
|Screenplay by||Kristin Hahn|
by Julie Murphy
|Music by||Dolly Parton|
|Edited by||Emma E. Hickox|
Dumplin' is a 2018 American coming-of-age comedy film directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Kristin Hahn. It is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Julie Murphy. The film stars Danielle Macdonald as Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson, Jennifer Aniston as her mother, Rosie Dickson, and Odeya Rush as her best friend, Ellen Dryver.
Willowdean Dickson is nicknamed "Dumplin" by her mother, Rosie, and "Will" by everybody else. She spends much of her childhood primarily raised and taught by her Aunt Lucy, who introduces Will to Ellen Dryver, who becomes her best friend. Lucy instills a love of Dolly Parton and self-confidence in Will, but six months before Will and Ellen start their final year of high school, Lucy dies. Rosie is a past beauty queen and celebrity in their small, Texan town. Will is often faced with confusion when people find out Rosie is her mother, due to Will's more heavyset figure. Due to her mother's various time commitments, Will doesn't spend much time with Rosie who is dependent on Will to accompany her to various events. Will finds pageant season - a big event in their town - a ridiculous hoopla, and finds her mother's participation as pageant judge and the emphasis on beauty as overemphasized and doesn't participate in or encourage either. Rosie remains a judge on the town's annual Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant every year, an event girls in town start preparing for months in advance. Following Lucy's death, Rosie finds difficulty connecting with Will who is resentful and embarrassed by her mother's world.
On Will and Ellen's first day of school, Will is suspended after defending another overweight girl, Millie Michalchuk, from a bully. Following this, Will accuses Rosie of being resentful of Will for her looks and is upset when Rosie insinuates that Lucy would still be alive if she had taken better care of her health. After finding Lucy’s application to try out for the Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant when she was 16, Will decides to try out in an act of a "protest in heels". After Will signs up, Millie - who is enthusiastic and pitied by Will - decides to sign up as well. Hannah Perez, an edgy feminist at their school, also signs up. Rosie interprets Will's application as a mockery of the pageant industry, and warns Will that pageants are harder than she thinks. In preparation for the pageant, Will stubbornly refuses to participate and is angry and jealous of Millie and Ellen's willingness to do so. After telling Ellen to quit, the pair fight, with Ellen upset that Will is so untrusting of her.
Bo, who works with Will at their local diner, asks Will out to watch a meteor shower. The pair connect, and they kiss. When he harmlessly touches her back, she panics, and leaves abruptly. Rosie begins to mentor Bekah Cotter, the pageant frontrunner whose mother is less supportive of her and reveals she's going to ask Bo to Sadie Hawkins. After finding a flyer in Lucy's belongings, Will, Millie, and Hannah visit a Dolly Parton themed drag biker bar that Lucy frequented. She meets a performer named Lee Wayne who was a close friend of Lucy’s, and feels fulfilled by the experience. However, during talent tryouts, Will's choice of performing a magic trick goes poorly, despite promising to practice. Bo later confesses his feelings to Will, but she is quick to question the legitimacy of them, wondering why a good looking guy like him would like her, and claims that they won’t work together in the real world. He's confused as to why she doesn't take his feelings seriously, and reveals he declined Bekah's offer to go to the dance. He accuses her of being a coward and too focused on what others think. Will starts purposefully missing the pageant meetings in which Lee is coaching her and her friends. After discovering a brooch of Lucy's she'd been looking for, she is inspired and decides to take the pageant seriously.
At the preliminary event, Rosie is touched and impressed by Will's speech about loyalty, which results in her making up with Ellen. At home, Rosie and Will reconcile over memories of Lucy, where Rosie reveals it was Lucy who instilled the sense of perfectionism in her. At the pageant, Millie's mother confronts her about lying about her involvement, but Millie's friends have her stand firm about her participation. Will performs a Dolly Parton tribute with her magic tricks, and is a success with the crowd. Millie performs a Christian song, which is also a success. While Rosie is overwhelmed with pride, she is forced to disqualify Will due to costume and song modifications made without her approval, and in order not to be seen as making an exception for her daughter. After Ellen's boyfriend is unable to escort her for the formal wear presentation, Will does so, as no rule prohibits a disqualified contestant from escorting a participating one. Bekah wins the pageant queen title as expected, but Millie is awarded first runner up to everyone's surprise and joy. Will leaves and reconciles with Bo, and the two share a kiss. The movie ends with Will and her friends taking Rosie and Millie's mother to the bar where Aunt Lucy brought so much joy to everyone.
- Danielle Macdonald as Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson
- Jennifer Aniston as Rosie Dickson
- Odeya Rush as Ellen "El" Dryver
- Maddie Baillio as Millie Michalchuk
- Bex Taylor-Klaus as Hannah Perez
- Luke Benward as Bo Larson
- Georgie Flores as Callie Reyes
- Dove Cameron as Bekah Cotter
- Harold Perrineau as Lee Wayne / Rhea Ranged
- Kathy Najimy as Mrs. Michalchuk
- Ginger Minj as Candee Disch
- Hilliary Begley as Lucy Dickson
- Sam Pancake as Dale
- Dan Finnerty as Eugene Reed
- Molly McNearney as Delia Shepherd
- Tian Richards as Marcus
- Ryan Dinning as Patrick
- Andrew Fletcher as Tim
Dumplin' author Julie Murphy makes a cameo as a patron at the drag bar.
On March 15, 2017, Jennifer Aniston was announced in the cast of Dumplin', playing Rosie Dickson, the mother of Dumplin'. On June 13, 2017 Danielle Macdonald joined Aniston, in the lead role. On August 15, 2017, Odeya Rush was also cast in the film to play Ellen "El" Dryver, Willowdean's best friend, who creates difficulties when she tries to enter the beauty pageant along with Will. On August 21, 2017, Dove Cameron, Luke Benward, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Maddie Baillio, Georgie Flores, and Ginger Minj joined the cast of Dumplin.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Dumplin' holds an approval rating of 85% based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Elevated by a solid soundtrack and a terrific cast, Dumplin' offers sweetly uplifting drama that adds just enough new ingredients to a reliably comforting formula." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Academy Awards||February 24, 2019||Best Original Song||Dolly Parton and Linda Perry for "Girl in the Movies"||Shortlisted|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||January 13, 2019||Best Song||Nominated|||
|Georgia Film Critics Association||January 12, 2019||Best Original Song||Nominated|||
|Golden Globe Awards||January 6, 2019||Best Original Song||Nominated|||
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||February 13, 2019||Best Song/Recording Created for a Film||Nominated|||
|Best Music Supervision for Films Budgeted Under $25 Million||Buck Damon||Nominated|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 14, 2018||Best Original Song – Feature Film||Dolly Parton and Linda Perry for "Girl in the Movies"||Nominated|||
The soundtrack, released on November 30, 2018, features songs either written or recorded by country star Dolly Parton. Parton performs on every song on the album and wrote six of the twelve tracks exclusively for the film, with the remaining six being re-recordings of some of Parton's earlier hits, including a string version of "Jolene". Joining Parton on the soundtrack are Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Mavis Staples, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Sia, Macy Gray, Willa Amai and the film's stars Aniston and Macdonald.
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- McNary, Dave (16 March 2017). "Jennifer Aniston to Star in Teen Comedy 'Dumplin''". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "'Patti Cake$' Breakout Danielle Macdonald Joins Jennifer Aniston in 'Dumplin'". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
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- "Dolly Parton & Sia's 'Here I Am' from 'Dumplin'' Released". Film Music Reporter. September 14, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
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- "Dumplin' (2018) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- "Academy Unveils 2019 Oscar Shortlists". The Hollywood Reporter. December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- "Critics' Choice Awards 2019: The Complete List of Nominations". E! Online. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- "Georgia Film Critics Association Announces Film Nominations". filmotomy.com. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- "Golden Globe Nominations: Complete List". Variety. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Brandle, Lars (January 10, 2019). "'A Star Is Born,' 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Among Guild of Music Supervisors 2019 Nominees: Exclusive". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 10, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- Yang, Rachel (October 16, 2018). "'Black Panther', 'A Star Is Born' Lead 2018 Hollywood Music in Media Awards Nominees". Variety. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
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