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Rated 2.91 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Revealing Documentary
by James Colt Harrison

People either loved Whitney Houston or hated her. Some found her singing grating on the nerves, and others found her voice a gift from the angels. Who was right? The statistics prove she sold more than 200 million albums, so somebody must have loved her. She racked up seven consecutive No.1 hits in a row from her self-titled 1985 album and its 1987 follow-up record.

Oscar® winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, who had access to all the files and home-footage from the Houston family, has made a fascinating documentary about the iconic singing star. He interviewed family members friends, music moguls (Clive Davis) and even a movie star (Kevin Costner). It takes a lot of people to make a film and singing star, and many are here to talk about what they knew about Whitney.

She didn’t have an easy childhood. Her talent was manifested at an early age, and she began singing as a little girl. Many of her school classmates bullied her because she was “different,” could sing, and was beautiful. And, revealed for the first time, she was molested as a child by her own cousin, singing star Dee Dee Warwick, sister of Dionne Warwick. Apparently, so was her brother Gary. This event may have eaten at her self-esteem and given her a lack of confidence.

Sister-in-law Pat Houston, wife of Gary, narrates a lot of the film and gives insight into the real Whitney and the struggles the singer had. At home she was known as “Nippy,” but in pubic she was “Whitney,” a larger-than-life persona. She wasn’t sure which of these she really was.

Not being a fan, and not knowing much about her home-life, I gained a different insight into why this popular singer did the things she did, and why she got involved with drugs.

Whitney Houston was found dead at a Beverly Hills hotel, drowned in a tub full of water. She was only 48 years old. One can sympathize with her struggles, but she cannot be forgiven for squandering her spectacular singing talent.

(Released by Roadside Attractions and rated “R” for language and drug content.)

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