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Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Kasi Lemmons |USA |2022 |144min
Rating: PG Cast: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Nafessa Williams, Tamara Tunie


April 6:5:00 pm, 7:45 pmApril 7:7:00 pmApril 8:5:00 pm, 7:45 pm

As adored as she was in her lifetime, the real meaning of Whitney Houston didn’t click until she was gone. When she was alive, we knew about her extraordinary vocal range, and how electrifying a performer she was. We also knew she had substance-abuse problems, was struggling through a stormy marriage (to fellow pop star Bobby Brown), and, as the tabloids told us in trumpeting type, was gay or bisexual. Yet the more time passes, the sadder it seems that most of us didn’t pay closer attention to the person Houston really was, or was trying to be. Kasi Lemmons’ I Wanna Dance with Somebody—starring English actress Naomi Ackie—may come closest to capturing Houston’s exuberant contradictions, and the joy she both took and gave in performing. The movie isn’t a melodramatic tell-all, or a total downer. But it manages, even while being unapologetically entertaining, to feel like an honest reckoning with all the things we didn’t want to know about Houston at her fame’s height. It’s a film that takes our failings into consideration, rather than simply fixating on hers, a summation of all the things she tried to tell us and couldn’t.—TIME Magazine

“Kasi Lemmons’s Whitney Houston biopic strikes the right balance between conveying the joy of the star’s music and honoring the truth of her pain.”—Buzzfeed News

“If Austin Butler’s Elvis is the king of that crop, [Naomi Ackie’s] Whitney is indisputably the queen.”—London Evening Standard

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