Whitney movie poster

“It will take an act of Congress to keep this woman from becoming a mega-star.” So sayeth Merv Griffin as he introduced a then-unknown Whitney Houston to his legion of TV viewers. Little did the prescient talk show host know that her meteoric rise would end in suicide by substance abuse. Two takeaways, one humorous, the other tragic: Cissy Houston named her daughter after Whitney Blake, the alabaster-skinned actress who played a slave-owner of sorts on TV’s Hazel. As for the tragic reveal, let’s say there’s good reason why Aunt Dionne Warwicke turned down an invite for a talking-head testimonial. Kevin Macdonald’s snorts-and-all documentary buckles only twice, around a series of bridging montages, the overt symbolism of which floats too close to the surface. (How many shots of Nancy “Just Say No” Reagan did we need to establish a time frame?) For much of its two-hour running time, we watch the life slowly being sucked out of a legend; the last thirty-minutes are consumed by ineffability. 2018.

Scott Marks

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, July 17

10:30am, 1:25pm, 4:20pm, 7:10pm, 10:10pm

Wednesday, July 18

10:30am, 1:25pm, 4:20pm, 7:10pm, 10:10pm

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Tuesday, July 17

11:05am, 1:55pm, 4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:10pm

Wednesday, July 18

11:05am, 1:55pm, 4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:10pm

Thursday, July 19

11:05am, 1:55pm, 4:40pm

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions

Tuesday, July 17

12:40pm, 2:50pm, 5:35pm

Wednesday, July 18

12:40pm, 2:50pm, 5:35pm

Thursday, July 19

12:25pm, 2:50pm, 5:20pm

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions

Tuesday, July 17

10:00am, 3:30pm

Wednesday, July 18

10:00am, 3:30pm

Thursday, July 19

10:00am, 3:30pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Tuesday, July 17

1:15pm, 6:50pm

Wednesday, July 18

9:40pm

Thursday, July 19

1:15pm, 6:50pm

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