‘Becoming’ Critics Review: Goes Beyond Michelle Obama’s Memoir

‘Becoming’ is available for streaming on Netflix from 6 May onwards.

Published06 May 2020, 06:56 AM IST
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Becoming, a documentary on former first lady Michelle Obama’s 34-city book tour, dropped on Netflix on 6 May. At under 90 minutes, Becoming is directed by filmmaker Nadia Hallgren.

Here’s how international critics have reviewed the documentary.

“Inevitably, it’s the things that don’t get asked that stick out. Nobody ever asks Obama why she took her husband’s surname, or if she had any qualms about that. Could it be that from the very first, she knew that Barack might have political ambitions and she wanted to tailor her own personality to that?”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“‘Becoming’ offers a welcome and sobering look at the personal tradeoffs associated with fame. There’s no self-pity in that, but Michelle Obama possesses enough perspective to recognize the intrusive nature of celebrity, such as the amount of attention devoted to the clothes she wore while in the White House.”
Brian Lowry, CNN
“Far more than the memoir, the film presents a manicured version of the way Michelle Obama sees herself — and yet, even such a carefully image-managed impression can be telling, since it diverges so significantly from the way the world perceives her.”
Peter Debruge, Variety
““Becoming” is least interesting when it adheres to the structure of Obama’s well-known biographical highlights; it is most interesting whenever she is in the company of trusted friends, family and colleagues.”
Hank Stuever, The Washington Post
“At under 90 minutes, Hallgren’s film doesn’t have the time to truly dig into those deeper questions, instead hopscotching between concepts that are only held together by the force of the former First Lady’s grace and good humor.”
Kate Erbland, IndieWire

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