How much you like Framing Britney Spears will be based entirely on how much of a fan of the singer you are. If you are a fan of Britney Spears then this is a great journal of the singer’s career, covering the hits, the rise, the controversies and of course the dispute between her and her Father who (at the time of the movie being released) had a conservatorship over his daughter. If you are not a fan of Britney but intrigued by the controversary then this is not going to do what you want it to as it makes its intentions (and bias) clear from the outset.
That’s not to say that there isn’t worth here. For starters, this does a very good job of presenting the story and background to the whole legal battle. This means we get a complete run-down of the Britney career. For fans, this won’t be anything new and will probably be slightly too light touch. For the casual pop culture enthusiasts, there will be a lot you know and a lot you only thought you knew but get some context for.
To its credit, as well as charting the rise, it also includes all the lowest points of Britney’s career as well. The breakdown and the reason for her Father’s conservatorship are covered in what seems like the complete facts, although the talking heads that are used are fairly weak. They don’t seem like the experts you’d want for this documentary. In fact, the whole documentary has a very “unofficial” feeling and this doesn’t help with the biased viewpoint.
As they present the more modern perspective and the reasons that Britney doesn’t need her conservatorship anymore, it also begins to vilify her Father. With nobody talking from his perspective and purely attacking his intentions, its difficult to watch this and not feel like a huge side of this story is being omitted, and that damages the credibility of the movie.
An area it does highlight, with little of the opposing side needed, is how damaging the media was to Britney’s mental health and personal life. Talking heads with the paparazzi that chased her and putting the real life events side-by-side with the damaging headlines only compound and prove the effects that the journalists had on the mentally fragile pop star. If that had been the intention of this movie from the outset then it would have been much more successful.
Overall, Framing Britney Spears is an interesting look at the career of the pop star and the recent controversies concerning her personal life and the conservatorship. Unfortunately, its very “unofficial” and very biased, which damages its credibility. As a focus on the impact of the press though, it has a lot of valid points and with a change in direction, could have maximised its impact.
Rating – 3
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)
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