It was screened out of competition at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. See more »
There were times when I would look up to God and I'd go, "Why is this happening to me?" And then these dreams... I'd have these dreams about being on a bridge and the bridge going back and forth and swaying. There's a big storm coming... I'm always running from this giant. I'm always running from this big man. I know I can make it. I know I can make it. I know I can make it. My mother always says, "Oh, you know, that's nothin' but the devil; he's just trying to get you. He just ...
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Whitney chronicles the early success and eventual downfall of one of the greatest singers of all time.
Whitney Houston. Everyone and their dog has heard of a song by this enigmatic lass. The only artist to garner seven consecutive US number one singles and release the best selling single for a female artist of all time. She has broken more records than a lunatic swinging a bat at a jukebox. Yet, with such early fame, her later life was marred with scandals, tainted by drug accessibility and succumbed to an inevitable tragedy. Macdonald's documentary depicts the chaotic world that stardom introduces whilst also retaining a sense of family. Interviews with family members, close friends and colleagues allows a personable quality to shine through this deeply tragic documentary. Tackling broad subject matters of racial segregation and activism during the 80s, the impact of recreational drug usage and never before seen allegations of sexual abuse at a young age. Suffice to say, Houston suffered personal struggles and this film primarily hones in on her downfall. Still retaining her angelic persona, the documentary insinuates that it was her external environment that corrupted her. Similarly to Kapadia's documentary 'Amy', it portrays fame as a disease where young stars are more susceptible to its negativity. The relentless second half drains you on an emotional level as you empathically watch this beautiful talent degrade, especially the phone recording of her 'Nothing But Love' comeback tour. It's not all doom and gloom, the first third does feel hearty and establishes a blossoming strong family bond as we nostalgically glance back at various high points in her short life. 'The Bodyguard', her interpretation of "The Star Spangled Banner" and her numerous number one singles. Alas, you can't help but feel that this overstuffed documentary focuses too much on her ruination. Contaminating a beautiful soul. It's an eye-opening perspective for fans and fledglings (I was the latter) that both informs and occasionally succumbs to emotional exploitation. Powerfully charged nonetheless.
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