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Celine (DVD Review)

27 Jul, 2008 By: Dan Bennett


Street 7/22/08
$19.95 DVD
Rated ‘PG' for thematic material, smoking and brief mild language.
Stars Christine Ghawi, Enrico Colantoni, Peter MacNeill, Jodelle Ferland.

Celine, billed as “The Unauthorized Life Story of Celine Dion,” attempts to chronicle Dion's rise to fame. It begins with her youth in Quebec, where her working-class family struggled to make ends meet.

Celine's talent is clear from early on, and with a headstrong and supportive father guiding her, the young girl's vocals find their way to famed producer Rene Angelil, who begins his plan to make Celine a superstar when she is only 12.

Through family tragedies, numerous obstacles and a tough business atmosphere, the singular-minded Celine begins to attract fans, and by the time she records one of the major songs for the film Beauty and the Beast, Celine enjoys an extremely devoted following.

Soon after, of course, she will become tabloid fodder and marry Angelil. And despite the associated controversy, she ultimately becomes a fabled superstar.

This is a workable, mildly entertaining biopic that Dion and her people had nothing to do with — one of those unauthorized projects that feeds off its potential for controversy. It has caused some, especially for intense Dion fans, who pepper online film message boards with objections to bad facts and mistaken chronology. Those fans know when Dion began singing in English (instead of French), when she married Angelil, etc.

For the less informed, even those who aren't big fans of Dion's ultra-powerful voice and sometimes sappy and overwrought lyrics, the story told here still engages. Maybe some intense followers will forgive the alleged factual lapses in deference to its overall tributary tone.

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