Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The SWITCH team has checked out their top picks from the Perth Festival - click here to check out the reviews.x
review, Whitney: Can I Be Me, Whitney:, Can, I, Be, Me, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Whitney Houston, Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal, Documentary film rating

WHITNEY: CAN I BE ME

★★★★

AN ENTHRALLING, HEARTBREAKING TALE

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
4th June 2017

When English documentary film director Nick Broomfield is good (‘Biggie and Tupac’, 'Aileen‘), he is an investigative filmmaker and interviewer at the height of his powers. When he isn’t so good (‘Kurt and Courtney’), he comes off as mean-spirited, un-objective bully.

With his latest music-themed documentary, ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me?’, Broomfield blessedly steps back from the type of interventions which made 1998’s ‘Kurt and Courtney’ such a strange, pointed slog. Using his considerable powers of persuasion, dogged detective skills and the amazing discovery of never-seen-before footage from her 1999 tour of Europe, Broomfield delivers the enthralling tale of how a working-class girl from Newark, New Jersey became America's pop princess of late-1980s and early-1990s.

'WHITNEY: CAN I BE ME' TRAILER

Broomfield mixes up old interviews with new, puts current-day voices over old clips and vice versa, and relies very heavily on previously unseen footage from Whitney’s giant, global 1999 tour, the 'My Love Is Your Love', 64-date gig in which rumours of drug use started to leak out and Whitney, dressed in Dolce & Gabbana, began to slowly, publicly crack.

Throughout the documentary, Houston’s bodyguard, a real-life counterpart to her fictional protector played by Kevin Costner in the 1992 film ‘The Bodyguard’, talks about the warning letters he wrote to people in her life. He insists that if they had listened to him she wouldn’t have died on the 27th May 2012.

Houston’s brothers talk about their own use of heroin as pre-adolescents, and the milieu of drugs that surrounded the singer. They aren’t specific, however, about what the singer herself took while growing up. “Crack started in the 80s - it was around her,” Broomfield says. “And there was coke. People talk about the marijuana.” Watching her booed on the TV show Soul Train because she was supposedly selling out black music with her crossover appeal or witnessing an outtake during a promotional interview, it's easy to see how the mega-successful singer tried to find solace in God, self-confessed bad boy Bobby Brown (although their relationship is depicted as sunnier than the tabloid portrayals) and drugs.

Broomfield delivers the enthralling tale of how a hood girl from Newark, New Jersey became America's pop princess of late-1980s and early-1990s.

The Houston estate does not like this film and has tried and failed to stop it. Long for a documentary (at 111 minutes) and almost comprehensive (covering almost 13 years between the 'My Love Is Your Love' tour and Houston’s death), ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me?’ heartbreakingly foreshadows 2015’s ‘Amy’, with the added top-note that the singer’s 24-year-old daughter would die in similar circumstances less than three years later.

Broomfield says the ultimate goal for his film is to celebrate the star’s talent, and to reveal her as a person. In this regard, ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me?’ is a success and the film is worth watching to see the different facets of Whitney: the sublime artist, bi-sexual lover, self-destroyer, and caring human being.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 15/06/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 51m
CAST: Whitney Houston
DIRECTORS: Nick Broomfield
Rudi Dolezal
www.whitneyhoustonfilm.com
WhitneyCanIBeMe
whitneycanibeme
whitneycanibeme
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
The Peanut Butter Falcoln - Join the adventure of a lifetime
TRENDINGWIN THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCOLNJoin the adventure of a lifetime
For Sama - Oscar-nominated documentary on the female experience of war
TRENDINGWIN FOR SAMAOscar-nominated documentary on the female experience of war
And the Oscar goes to... - Pick this year's winners to take home your own prize!
TRENDINGWIN AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...Pick this year's winners to take home your own prize!
The Lighthouse - Robert Pattinson & Willem Dafoe's wind-swept horror
TRENDINGWIN THE LIGHTHOUSERobert Pattinson & Willem Dafoe's wind-swept horror
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
NT Live: Present Laughter - Andrew Scott astounds in this thrilling Noel Coward classic
TRENDINGNT LIVE: PRESENT LAUGHTERAndrew Scott astounds in this thrilling Noel Coward classic
True History of the Kelly Gang - A magnificent deconstruction of the great Australian antihero
TRENDINGTRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANGA magnificent deconstruction of the great Australian antihero
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
The Peanut Butter Falcon - Wholesome and heartfelt
TRENDINGTHE PEANUT BUTTER FALCONWholesome and heartfelt
Motherless Brooklyn - A neo-noir set in 1950s New York
TRENDINGMOTHERLESS BROOKLYNA neo-noir set in 1950s New York
A Hidden Life - Terrence Malick's stunning ode to the power of kindness
TRENDINGA HIDDEN LIFETerrence Malick's stunning ode to the power of kindness
Perth Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGPERTH FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
For Sama - An emotionally devastating must-watch
TRENDINGFOR SAMAAn emotionally devastating must-watch
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood - Mr Rogers: healing the world one lost soul at a time
TRENDINGA BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOODMr Rogers: healing the world one lost soul at a time
1917 - Sam Mendes' personal war story
TRENDING1917Sam Mendes' personal war story
Color Out of Space - A messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
TRENDINGCOLOR OUT OF SPACEA messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us