To finish out their new biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Sony uses a series of summaries, one of which calls Houston the “greatest voice of her generation.”
There has never been another singer with a voice like Houston’s.
As such, it is only appropriate that 22 of the film’s 144 minutes feature Whitney performing her own songs; the directors were able to track down the original recordings of her classics and remix them so that they sound as spectacular in a movie theatre as they do in a car stereo.
As of 2012, Houston’s age at death was 48.
She drowned accidentally, although heart illness and cocaine usage were suspected causes in her death.
A groundbreaking vocalist who was also one of the best-selling and most-awarded recording artists of all time has passed away, and his death has been much mourned.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody succeeds mostly as a result of its music.
The Greatest Love of All, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Saving All My Love, How Will I Know, I Will Always Love You, I’m Every Woman, I’m Your Baby Tonight, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody are just a few of the timeless hits she has sung.
Produced by famed music mogul Clive Davis (played by Oscar contender Stanley Tucci), the film was directed by Kasi Lemmons and written by Anthony McCarten, both of whom were nominated for Academy Awards.
Davis’s friendship with Houston and her romance with Davis’s best friend Robyn Crawford are both given significant screen time (Nafessa Williams).
British performer Naomi Ackie, who won a BAFTA, plays Whitney.
It’s a reminder that Houston came from outstanding musical stock that Ackie had to step in when there were no recordings of the singer available, as she can be heard singing songs like Guide Me, O My Great Jehovah and when Houston performs background vocals for her mother, Cissy (Tamara Tunie).
Ackie’s portrayal of Houston’s speaking voice is spot-on thanks to the assistance of a dialect coach and a professional speech specialist.
The film has several very strange sequences.
Overlaying real-life Kevin Costner and Oprah Winfrey interviews over film material is startling.
Dolly Parton is probably still cashing checks from Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You,” despite the fact that Houston didn’t compose the song.
Still, her renditions of the timeless tunes she and Davis chose were unparalleled.
The criticism Houston received from some members of the black community who believed she wasn’t “black enough” is addressed head-on in the film.
This excerpt from Hip Hop & Hymns was featured in Good Weekend in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and it reflects on the significance of her blackness to me as a young black woman in remote Australia.
The film also depicts instances of people cashing in on Houston’s fame.
Many others benefited from the millions of cash she made, and that’s why she kept touring even after reports suggested that drug use had robbed her of the distinctive voice that made her famous.
Ashton Sanders, who played RZA in Wu-Tang: An American Saga, portrays Whitney onscreen, and the film emphasises the fact that she was familiar with narcotics long before her 1992 marriage to musician Bobby Brown.
In Australia, the film did not open until Boxing Day, with only a few screenings happening on Christmas Day (understandably, given the holiday).
It earned $US5.3 million ($7.8 million) during the weekend to place third at the North American Box Office, behind Avatar: The Way of Water and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish but ahead of Babylon starring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt.