Whitney Houston is getting rave reviews for her performance in the recently released Sparkle. The movie itself has been getting mixed reviews but Houston’s portrayal as religious mom Emma has people singing her praises.
“It’s an all too familiar storyline that we’ve seen before. However, what makes ‘Sparkle” work, and sadly bittersweet, is this final on-screen performance by Whitney Houston,” wrote one reviewer for The Examiner.
Another writer wondered what could have been had Houston lived and believes this movie could have sparked a major comeback for her. “At times, it’s like a Joan Crawford neurotic-mother fantasy, and the gravelly conviction of Whitney Houston’s performance proves that this could have been the first step not merely in a comeback but in a major re-invention,” Owen Gliberman wrote for Entertainment Weekly. “She had the instincts of a superb character actress.”
Celebrities also raved about Houston’s performance. Sparkle producer T.D. Jakes also believes Houston might have been ready for a comeback. “I think she did an incredible job. I think it would’ve caught the attention of Hollywood and the imagination of other producers and directors,” he told the Huffington Post. “It would have been a strong plus for her.”
Houston’s rumored ex-boyfriend was overcome with emotion. “I can’t even start with one thing [I wish people would remember about her],” said Ray J. “It’s just so much.”
The person that is probably the proudest of Houston’s performance is her 19-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina. She wrote a letter to her late mother for Ebony magazine to express her pride. “I’m so proud that you were able to finish making ‘Sparkle’ before things happened. You did it for us. Mom, you had such a great time making the movie. You glowed throughout…you just glowed,” she wrote. “My mother being so happy was an absolutely beautiful thing for me to watch. I’m very proud of you.”