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Chronicles Whitney Houston's rise to fame and turbulent relationship with husband Bobby Brown.

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Whitney movie full length review - Stunning portrait of self-destruction

I enjoyed this stunning-to-watch biopic about Whitney Houston, the phenomenally talented singer found dead in a bathtub in 2012.

YaYa DaCosta does well as the headliner, although this lovely model doesn't really resemble Ms. Houston and is way too skinny for the part. Often she seems to be swimming in the powerhouse's glittery costumes.

Ms. DaCosta portrays a force of nature who poured her all into her performances, always, it seemed, fueled by cocaine. Houston's entourage of family and friends never seemed to say a word about her addiction.

It's only bad-boy husband Bobby Brown who thanklessly questions her usage. But Houston has none of it.

"The only problems I got were ones you gave me," she hisses.

Played convincingly by Belize-born Arlen Escarpeta, Brown is shown to have a crude side -- his first exchange with Houston is a little threatening -- along with some impressive depth. The couple has obvious sexual chemistry but we never see them engage in any other kind of meaningful activity together. It's always party, party, party.

This film could have benefited from far better pacing. We observe many spats between Whitney and Bobby but their divorce and Whitney's untimely death get short shrift in the epilogue. This film needed an extra hour or two to tell its story completely.

This film features a lot of great music and dancing. If Ms. DaCosta was lip-syncing, she did a magnificent job.

I hope his movie launches both her and Escarpeta onto bigger and better projects.