Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
New SWITCHCast episode out now! Click here to listen to interviews with 'Rockabul's' Travis Beard and 'Thunder Road's' Jim Cummings.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.
Red Joan - Judy Dench's spy drama
TRENDINGWIN RED JOANJudy Dench's spy drama
What Men Want - The power of the mind
TRENDINGWIN WHAT MEN WANTThe power of the mind
My Big Gay Italian Wedding - Fall in love with this feed-good romantic comedy
TRENDINGWIN MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDINGFall in love with this feed-good romantic comedy
Rocketman - A fascinating musical biopic that never finds its feet
TRENDINGROCKETMANA fascinating musical biopic that never finds its feet
Aladdin - A whole new world of suffering
TRENDINGALADDINA whole new world of suffering
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Apollo 11 - A transcendent journey to the Moon
TRENDINGAPOLLO 11A transcendent journey to the Moon
NT Live: All About Eve - A powerful stage adaptation of a cinema classic
TRENDINGNT LIVE: ALL ABOUT EVEA powerful stage adaptation of a cinema classic
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
The Wedding Guest - Cancelled due to boredom
TRENDINGTHE WEDDING GUESTCancelled due to boredom
The Wind - A paranoid Western nightmare
TRENDINGTHE WINDA paranoid Western nightmare
Sydney Film Festival 2019 - The reviews
TRENDINGSYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019The reviews
25 km/h - A supremely easygoing German comedy
TRENDING25 KM/HA supremely easygoing German comedy
Here Comes Hell - High society British horror
TRENDINGHERE COMES HELLHigh society British horror
The Heiresses - An escape from the gilded cage of privilege
TRENDINGTHE HEIRESSESAn escape from the gilded cage of privilege
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
In Fabric - The best worst film ever?
TRENDINGIN FABRICThe best worst film ever?
Under The Silver Lake - Not so deep
TRENDINGUNDER THE SILVER LAKENot so deep
The Captain America Trilogy - The finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
TRENDINGTHE CAPTAIN AMERICA TRILOGYThe finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us