Tonight the Lifetime biopic of late singer Whitney Houston finally gets its airing and viewers are expecting the drama onscreen to be at least equal to that which has happened off screen. Since the film was announced, Houston’s family have spoken out against the project, leading first time director Angela Bassett to be continually on the defensive about the film.
Yaya DaCosta stars as Whitey Houston
Ahead of the film’s television premiere tonight (January 17th), Pat Houston, the late singer’s sister in-law and President of her estate, has released a scathing statement condemning the movie. “I say this to all Whitney's family, friends and fan base: If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst,” wrote Houston.
Seemingly taking aim at director Bassett, who co-stared with the singer in Waiting to Exhale, Houston added, “misrepresenting the term friendship to advance an agenda is not only disrespectful and dishonest but a slap in the face to her true and loyal friends.”
Houston ended her statement by saying, “Truth is violated by silence just as much as by a lie.”
But what have the critics made of the biopic so far? Well The Chicago Tribune called Whitney, “a surprisingly compelling, if decidedly constricted take on the singer's life.” Adding that DaCosta’s performance “brings a star quality to the thin material worthy of the artist she portrays.”
Houston's troubled personal life will be played out in the Lifetime biopic
David Hinckley of the New York Daily News writes that “you always suspected there had to be something going on with Whitney Houston, and this lean biopic suggests that's true, without being judgmental or pointing any fingers.” But Deadline’s Dominic Patten was less impressed calling the film “just not good at all — even by celeb biopic standards.”
While Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times writes, “Whitney is certainly not the worst film to be made from a real person's life.” Before adding, “But though it works in parts and pieces — were you to be shown any random scene out of context, you might imagine a better picture — it doesn't add up to much.”
Jon Caramanic writing in the New York Times, added, “We need a new term to describe the sort of history on offer in Whitney. Maybe "fantastical history" is the term?” Adding that the film ‘cherry picks’ moments of Houston’s life.
So has your mind been made up, will you be tuning into Lifetime’s Whitney Houston biopic tonight?
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