May 18, 2019
We’re closing out the week with another review from One Movie Spouse, which required our whole household to get in formation and place hot sauce in our bags. She’ll have her thoughts on the latest surprise media release from Beyoncé, but for a few other music-related documentaries, check out our reviews for “Stop Making Sense” (Episode #179), “Quincy” (Episode #220), and “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” (Episode #289).
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Take it away, Amy!
Hi there, it’s Amy, AKA One Movie Spouse back for another review. MWAH! It’s still a super busy time of year for me as the school year wraps up. With four weeks of school remaining, it’s always fun to escape into a movie for a bit. Today’s film features a dynamite musical performance that I think you’re going to REALLY love!
Today’s movie is “Homecoming” (2019), the music documentary film written and directed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. This dynamic film is sure to please Beyoncé fans, musical festival-goers, and anyone else curious about Beyoncé’s magnetism and her over-the-top spectacular performance art.
While I don’t follow pop culture and modern music nearly as closely as my teenage daughter does, I enjoyed seeing what all the hype was about. In April 2018, Beyoncé was the headliner for the Coachella music festival held in Indio, California. It showed highlights of the two-weekend show, mashing them together in color and black-and-white, and interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage during rehearsals. Beyoncé was the first black woman to headline this festival, which is memorable in and of itself, but the journey is truly inspiring as Beyoncé shares her vision along the way for Beychella.
One cannot review this film without mentioning the costumes, the dancers, and the very large supporting cast of musicians. Hands down, it’s all INCREDIBLE!!! You watch this film and you feel as though you are standing near the Coachella stage without feeling crowded or sweaty as you do sometimes at massive music festivals. My love for choreographed dance and costumes started with Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul in the 1990s. The performances featured in today’s film would have made my 13-year-old head spin! Beychella 2018 showcases 200 hand-picked singers, dancers, and musicians to make this fantastic show a reality. Even if you’re not familiar with all the songs performed, viewers will DEFINITELY appreciate the visual appeal and high energy of this show!
At the beginning of this film, I found myself comparing it to “Gaga: Five Foot Two”, the documentary featuring Lady Gaga’s 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show and the release of her album “Joanne.” Similar to today’s film, viewers saw glimpses of mainstage performances with behind the scenes footage and inspiration for parts of the show. In Gaga’s film we see her mask come off, as she reveals very intimate moments about her life, including physical and emotional pain, and where she draws strength and confidence to put on very unique and powerful performances. About a third of the way through this film, my comparisons stopped; both of these films may have similarities, but they each have very different stories to tell.
In “Homecoming”, we hear Beyoncé share her struggles, especially her return to performing after giving birth to twins and balancing career with family life. Another major difference between these two films is that “Homecoming” has a positive message meant to empower marginalized individuals. Beyoncé speaks from the heart that she hopes to inspire others, help them discover their dreams, and reflect strengths of the larger black culture in her music and on stage. This film really captures the emotions felt by fans of Beyoncé. It is moving to see the video reactions from various audience perspectives. You can see *and* feel the connection they have with Beyoncé and her music as it speaks to them. I wasn’t a “super fan” before watching this film, however during the closing scene of this phenomenal show, I was covered in head to toe goosebumps, feeling inspired for younger generation music fans, and eager to explore more of her music beyond what is on the FM radio waves. I’d say Beychella 2018 and this film was a smashing success!
“Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé” is sure to please Beyoncé fans, music festival-goers and anyone else curious about Beyoncé’s magnetism and her over-the-top spectacular performance art. Wow, just wow! Check it out right now!
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (CERTIFIED FRESH)
One Movie Punch: 10/10
All right, I’ll save the singing for Beyoncé.
“Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé” (2019) is rated TV-MA and is currently playing on Netflix.
Joseph: All right, I have the sequel ready to go.
Amy: A documentary sequel? If you say so…
Joseph: Hear me out. “Queen Bey vs. Coachella”, except in this case, it’s a 500-foot Beyoncé saving the festival from a kaiju attack, and in the process, saving music itself.
Amy: That could actually work.
Joseph: You think so? I’ll need your help.
Joseph: Well, you know... Girls... they run this Mothra... Yeah!
Amy: What’s a Mothra?
Joseph: I’ll show you later this month!
Amy: Awesome! Even better. I hope this doesn’t make the b-roll.
Joseph: I think you mean the Bey-roll.