A luminous, frustrating talent

Whitney Houston sold 200 million records and had a thriving acting career before her downfall and death in 2012 at age 48. Oscar-winning director and documentarian Kevin Macdonald (Black Sea, How I Live Now, Marley, The Last King of Scotland) takes a clear-eyed and thoughtful look at the star’s roots, her meteoric rise, her psychology and her frustrating mistakes. In a way it’s a story that’s been told many times before about the pitfalls of stardom, but made all the more gut-wrenching for her singular promise and radiance. A fairly grueling sit, but superbly and compassionately made. (120 min)