By Kate Callahan
CinemaCon attendees got a sneak peek of Whitney Houston in the upcoming film, “Sparkle,” and had positive reviews of her work. The film is a remake of the 1976 movie, and Houston plays the mother of three girls who form a singing group. The movie follows the girls as they deal with the challenges that come with their fame and success, including drug addiction.
The short preview clip that played at the Las Vegas conference featured a smiling and dancing Houston, but the majority of the preview footage focused on the film’s lead character played by Jordin Sparks. In the preview, it shows the transformation Sparks makes from ordinary girl playing piano in her home to the glammed up superstar wearing flashy dresses. Cee Lo Green also makes an appearance in the preview and is both singing and acting in the film.
In addition to acting in the movie, Houston also served as executive producer for “Sparkle,” and fought for 12 years in order to get the film made. “Sparkle” had already finished filming in Detroit when Houston died in Beverly Hills on February 11. The film, scheduled to be released in August, was to be her return to cinema. Houston’s career suffered the past few years due to her problems with substance abuse, her last Hollywood film being “The Preacher’s Wife” back in 1996.
Although the preview clip was short, Houston’s performance in “Sparkle” is generating Oscar buzz. According to Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood movie critic, Houston’s performance is sure to “get nominated for Best Supporting Actress.”