Halftime (2022)

Halftime (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Halftime (2022)
Director: Amanda Micheli
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Adam Blackstone
Genres: Documentary/Musical
Release date: 8 June 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
Language: German, Spanish, and English
Duration: 1h 35m


Halftime (2022)


Looking at the ratings of users of the IMDb database by age, it is noticeable that with the number of crosses around the neck, there is a growing reserve towards the creations of Jennifer Lopez – despite the fact that the artist herself is in this age category. What’s more, younger women are more lenient in their evaluation of the film than men. So the abundance of motivational speeches and flashy costumes is clearly not nearly as inspiring for Jennifer Lopez’s peers as the Latina pop queen would like and these ladies are definitely right.

The hour-and-a-half-long documentary begins in July 2019, when Lopez celebrated her 50th birthday. Just a few months later, the best period of her career in the last almost two decades came – with the self-aware crime comedy Gold Diggers . She collected a number of minor acting and producer awards, a nomination for the Golden Globe and rather surprisingly did not make it to the final Oscar selection. At the same time, she was preparing for the Super Bowl halftime performance which is one of the most prestigious televised events in the overseas world.

These multiple half-time planes invite some balancing, self-reflection of personal ambitions, and perhaps reflection on the difficulty of a woman from a minority ethnicity to maintaining her peak popularity at a relatively advanced age (from a show business perspective). However, we won’t see any deep dive into the interior of the protagonist or the opening of hot topics – completely in line with her demanding, perfectionist nature. This documentary is also a polished product used to celebrate its heroine.

In the first half, we can recall the beginnings of the career of this stubborn girl with Puerto Rican roots, who worked her way up from fairly poor circumstances as a dancer, actress and later a singer. Above all, at the end of the 90s, i.e. in the period of fresh adulthood, she experienced a whole series of successes, which, however quickly faded away in the first decade of the 21st century – and Jennifer had to work her way up again. Compared to earlier times, she is now clearly aware that the image of a Fiflena with her nose up has done her a lot of harm, so she tries to be kinder and more cordial to those around her. At the same time, however it is evident that purposefulness and stubbornness have definitely not left her.

Unfortunately, this manifests itself mainly in the last third, when we are immersed in preparations for the performance at the Super Bowl. Lopez doesn’t skimp on reminding her of her hard work, constant need to prove herself, and her talk about getting her message across makes it clear how deadly serious she is. The underprivileged poor girl from the Bronx still demands recognition from her surroundings, regardless of the millions she’s earned or the accolades she’s collected across the arts.

After tiresome repetition of the principles of the American dream, we finally get to a successful performance, which in reality was just another of many sexualized performances, confirming stereotypes about Latin American women. To what extent such a form of self-presentation is a suitable tool for conveying the emancipatory message that Lopez repeatedly talks about, would be a matter for another debate – from a filmmaker’s point of view, however, this is a bizarrely non-cathartic culmination of several ten minutes of teasing.

The clarity and forcefulness of the message is not helped by the often chaotic editing, which confuses the viewer as to where we are. The peak of inconceivability is the double epilogue, including singing at Joe Biden’s inauguration and praying for Hispanic women. These absurdly thin stickers are in line with the effort to present Lopez as an essential figure of the Latino community – which is what the protagonist herself is trying to do by recalling her achievements in the form of an interview that forms the backbone of the film.

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