‘Halftime’ Review: Jennifer Lopez’s Compelling Netflix Documentary

Tribeca: The global icon may only show what she wants in Amanda Micheli’s Netflix documentary, but even then, it’s often compelling enough.

In Amanda Micheli’s “halftime. ” we see Jennifer Lopez, global icon and multi-talented talent, ready to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl’s eponymous halftime show — perfect makeup, big hair, sparkling outfits, cheering crowd — as her voiceover recounts her lifelong quest to be seen The pursuit of arriving and being heard should be taken seriously. see it? hear? handle it seriously? Girls, you are a huge superstar!

The documentary also wants to tell us that, as Lopez once said, she’s still just the Jenny of the block. The great surprise and joy of Micheli’s straightforward narrative is that, thanks to closeness and clever editing, we sympathize with Lopez’s apparent imposter syndrome. To the performer—and at some point, to her audience—this is very true. Even with her current accolades and successes, Lopez has never lost the desire to succeed (or, it seems, the ability to get used to that feeling of success). If someone as talented and motivated as Jennifer Lopez thinks she’s not fit for snuff, we’re all screwed.

The title of the documentary refers to the icon’s jaw-dropping show for the 2020 Super Bowl, but of course, it’s also about her life as she celebrates her 50th birthday in the film’s opening. She told her loved ones that she “felt like her life was just getting started”. Or, maybe, it’s only half done? There is hope here! Micheli’s film traces Lopez’s seminal year, starting in July 2019, and then moving forward six months, when Lopez finds himself in an awards show for “Hustlers” and fast-tracking for the halftime show.

Undoubtedly, the question facing Lopez was the champagne variety—”Will I be nominated for an Oscar?” was indeed the height of concern at the top—but Lopez felt so deeply the need to prove herself that, ultimately, her Worry turned into real drama. Micheli’s films aren’t smart enough to be scattered with limited conversational minds (mostly Lopez’s business partner and her mother, briefly), random flashbacks, occasional archival footage, and a series of films that could make up their own of short films (especially about Lopez’s early years, her treatment by the media, her obsession with her body, the constant tabloid attention), but none of that is the attraction: it’s Lopez.

There’s never a moment when Lopez isn’t on screen, from interviews to behind-the-scenes footage, from costume fittings to dance practice, as she tries to juggle being a mother with her sprawling career, and even a revelatory visit to a doctor who nearly begs her to let go. Slow down. Lopez’s halftime prep may seem important, but nothing beats her long-running win for Lorene Scafaria’s splendid “Liars” (which Lopez also produced) The event is more important, and many believe it will get her an Oscar. You know where this ends. It’s hard to smirk at that impostor syndrome these days, right?

It’s hardly a well-rounded work — even Lopez’s moments of a little bit of vitriol help her in her pursuit of a great job, and might have audiences screaming, “Wow, Queen!” — but there are brief moments as well. revelation. From the bruises on her legs while she was learning pole dancing for “Hustlers” to the gentle way she taught dance moves to a group of young dancers, real Lopez seems very human. A brief scene where her beaming friends and crew deliver the glamorous Lopez to the Golden Globes, and we all know she’s going to lose, really stings.

Anyone looking for J.Lo gossip will be disappointed — while the film covers the star’s engagement to Alex Rodriguez, he only briefly appears in a snappy montage, with Lo In it, Pez poignantly states that the only thing she’ll share about her loving life is that she must first learn to be for herself, to be her own home before finding another home. (Lopez’s current fiancé, Ben Affleck, was really just the talk leader for a segment, sharing his experience of understanding why the media was so vicious towards Lopez: “She said, ‘I’m Latino. I’m a lady.'”)

Even more poignant was Lopez’s experience organizing the halftime show, which, frankly, was a major event that was cursed from the start. Lopez’s superpowers (well, one of them) is that she realizes what people think of her — or more specifically, what people think they can get out of her. When the NFL needed to show off its supposed care for people of color after a string of controversies (Colin Kaepernick came out early, and then-President Trump’s cult of architecture! That! Wall! ), they tapped J.Lo for their halftime show.Then they also clicked on Shakira, presumably thinking there was two Latinos are even better.

Lopez saw through it. It was cheap, and it exhausted them both like they had never done before, meaning neither star was getting the full-time hours previously allotted to other headliners. never mind. Lopez makes a jaw-dropping show — even though she’s splitting time with Shakira, who comes and goes throughout the document — when she decides to flood the field with very little, this has a Important political message (admittedly, very new to her) The Girl in the Cage. It’s not subtle, but when did Lopez get subtle?

The film ends hysterically and aptly, listing Lopez’s current accomplishments, from her record sales to her current philanthropy. She deserves those flowers – and more.

Grade: B-

“Halftime” premieres in 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. It will start streaming on Netflix on Tuesday, June 14th.

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