Whitney Houston in ‘Sparkle’: A first look at her performance (video)


Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in "Sparkle." (Alicia Gbur/Sony via Associated Press)

The “Today” show has unveiled the trailer for the upcoming movie “Sparkle,” a remake of the 1976, Supremes-inspired film that features Whitney Houston in her final on-screen performance. It’s a clip that might have generated mild interest under other circumstances, but because of Houston’s death in February, it will motivate closer examination. Are there signs that she was off her game in the role of a former pop star attempting to encourage her three daughters (including one played by Jordin Sparks) to seek fame?

There are not. As much as one can tell from an extremely brief trailer, Houston dominates her scenes and still seems capable of conveying a mixture of both sass and sorrow.

“I think we will see a lot of truth in her performance when we watch it,” Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of the fourth hour of “Today”and noted movie trailer analyst, said during the “Today” crew’s instant assessment of the preview.

The film is slated for release Aug. 17, normally a time when summer doldrums set in and studios release their less blockbustery fare. But Houston’s presence in the film will undoubtedly generate curiosity. At the moment, she appears to be the main reason to see it.

Watch the clip below, then feel free to do your own Kathie Lee Gifford-style review by posting a comment.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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