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Billie Frank is a shy, young multiracial girl who is sent away by her alcoholic mother at a very early age. At an orphanage, she befriends Louise and Roxanne. Flash forward to 1983. Billie and her friends are spotted by a record producer, Timothy Walker, who wants them to sing backup for his latest pop-music discovery. But when super DJ Julian Dice hears Billie's incredible voice, he makes a shady deal with Timothy to get her out of that dead-end situation. Soon, Billie and Dice are making hits inside the studio, and falling in love outside of it. Eventually, the pressure of her newfound celebrity puts too heavy a strain on Billie, forcing her to decide what it is she really wants from Dice, and what she wants for herself. Written by
Move over, Meryl Streep and Dame Judy Densch...the next wave of young thespian geniuses is storming the screen, and the path is being blazed by stunning Mariah Carey. Given nothing but a bare-boned outline of a plot to work with, Ms. Carey explodes across the screen with a depth and complexity of character unseen since Vivian Leigh's multi-faceted Scarlet O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" back in 1939. Every colour of the rainbow, and some even out of the range of the known colour scheme, are clearly and sharply delineated by Mariah in every frame of this masterpiece; every subtle shade and nuance of Billie Frank is drawn with precision sharpness and crystal clarity. It is said that the ultimate sign of true artistry in film is when one can look at any single frame of a motion picture and instantly know what is going on just from the facial expressions and body language of the actors within. "Glitter" certainly exemplifies this theory. At any given moment, one can look at Mariah's Billie Frank and instantly see every idiosyncrasy of the woman inside. The relationships she has with, and her feelings towards, every character she interacts with in the film is beautifully fleshed-out and drawn with a broad brush. Each and every word Mariah speaks in "Glitter" was meticulously delivered by her, and obviously carefully studied during perusal of the script.
Mariah delivers infinitely more than the one-dimensional Billie other reviews have led us to expect. Her transitions from despondency, to loneliness, to anger, to triumph...all brought forth with a crispness and clarity unknown to this age of the cinematic experience. And the ease with which she presents all these ranges of emotion draws you into the character of Billie, to the point where you hang breathlessly on Mariah's next word. She has such a natural talent, such an incredible comfort in front of the camera, that you instantly forget you are watching an actress playing Billie; you believe she really is Billie.
This can only be the smallest taste of what is to come from this future screen legend. Mariah has made her mark on the film industry, and now can, and must, move on to deeper, more complex roles...she must rightfully stake her claim as one of the greatest screen presences in cinema history. How marvelous it would be to see her take on some of the great female characters of literary classics, so in vogue today. A "Jane Eyre", for example, or Lizzy in "Pride and Prejudice". Many of Shakespeare's greatest works have remained uncommitted to celluloid; what greater compliment to the works of the master himself than to have them graced by Mariah Carey?
Please, do yourself a favour; you must see this movie, and see it with an open mind. Those who scoff are simply those who had already decided that Mariah would be a failure in the cross-over from music to film. They cannot admit they were wrong; for, unlike Barbra Streisand and Madonna before her, embarrassments both, Mariah Carey is a fabulous, fantastic, brilliant actress. Again, look at everything she was able to do with this meagre script!!!
Mariah Carey is the most stunningly beautiful, breathtaking, sexy, sensuous, heart-stopping woman ever to appear on the stage or screen. So many times during this movie, I realized that I was so captivated by her beauty that I wasn't even breathing; my heart was pounding so fiercely at the sight of her, I though it would burst.
Believe me, Mariah...keep acting...keep singing...you will always be remembered as a priceless legend.
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