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February 21, 2010

Celine: Through the Eyes of the World

Celine_through_the_eyes_of_the_world Presented as a "performance" rather than a documentary of her 2008-2009 "Taking Chances" world tour, "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World" is an insult to your intelligence on many levels. Television writer/director-turned-glorified-editor Stéphane Laporte spastically splices together performances of the same song from diverse global locations like Cape Town and Dubai so that you can't get the continuity of a single show. Back stage shenanigans, photo-ops with foreign children, teary-eyed press conferences, and saccharine moments with her family, bodyguards, and dance crew substitute for a storyline. Perhaps the most glaring example of corporate pop music on the planet today, Celine plays to the lowest common denominator masses who have sipped from her egomaniacal Kool-Aid and are only too happy to blabber on about it. Like an amped-up cross between Ann Coulter and Sarah Jessica Parker, the singer gesticulates and pulls faces like a circus clown as she exaggerates the literal import of every oh-so-spirit-lifting song. Think of her as the anti-Sinatra. Distrustful of her abilities, Celine smothers every song with cloying histrionics tilted to make you feel like you're being force-fed a giant box of gooey chocolates with a rhinestone-encrusted funnel. There's nothing smart or natural in her performance. Even as a skilled vocal technician, here is a singer who doesn't know the first thing about phrasing or mood. Perhaps a few years with some Lou Reed records would help. I'm not kidding. The irony is that Celine's overkill act might work better as an off-off-Broadway performance art piece about greed. In New York City, cinemas that charge $12.50 for films that screen several times a day, "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World" costs $15.00--because it's a "performance"--and is shown only once a day in a logic-defying schedule that switches from 7:30 at night to two-o'clock depending on the day. Oh yes friends, we've got a special one here.

Not Rated. 117 mins. (D) (One Star)


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