News Feed Online - Becoming review – tantalising tour of Michelle Obama's life

14:00 2020-05-04

Becoming review – tantalising tour of Michelle Obama's life

This carefully authorised documentary offers glimpses of a dazzling presence on America’s political stageMichelle Obama is a class act – one of the classiest – and her intelligence and poise now look like something from a lost golden age. The publication of her globally bestselling memoir Becoming in 2018 brought her dazzlingly into the public sphere on her own terms. It gave her an international A-list status to rival her husband’s and provided Democrats and non-Trumpians around the world with a manifesto of decency and dignity to cling on to.Now we have this watchable, but carefully authorised, behind-the-scenes documentary for Netflix (from the Obamas’ company, Higher Ground Productions) about Obama’s American book tour (with a stopover at London’s O2 Arena). It shows her getting in and out of armoured sports utility vehicles, chatting easily and good-naturedly with her security detail, with colleagues and family members backstage, with beaming celebrity moderators onstage (starting with Oprah Winfrey) and with people getting their copies signed in bookstores who often dissolve in floods of tears just in coming face to face with her. (I was sorry, however, that we didn’t get to see again her amusing cameo in the TV comedy Parks and Recreation, which showed Amy Poehler’s earnest public official Leslie Knope reduced to a gibbering fangirl in her presence.)