Movie Club Discussion: Becoming

So let’s hop right in! What did you think of Becoming?

I was really excited to watch this because I’ve heard so many great things about Michelle Obama’s book. And I have to say that the documentary didn’t disappoint. The film pulled back the curtain and gave us a little peak inside of the world and upbringing of a candid, intelligent, and strong black woman. It was more about her book tour than I anticipated but as a writer (of a much smaller caliber lol) it was super cool to see behind the scenes of her tour. Also? All I could think the entire time was, holy shit, how is this her life? She can’t go anywhere or do anything without bodyguards ever again. Since I’m the least organized person ever (aside from my super lists), I would not last a day and I’d try to sneak out and get assassinated.

It was really interesting to find out that she never wanted to go into politics and I have to say that I originally fell in love with Michelle for her candid interviews and this just made me swoon that much harder. A former first lady admitting that they went to marriage counseling? YES! THANK YOU! Thank you for normalizing marital strife and therapy.

I really enjoyed how she wove difficult conversations with young people throughout the film because it provided a lot of depth and it’s just so important for us to hear their stories. I also really appreciated Michelle sharing some of the difficult moments in her life, it just makes her that much more relatable to so many people. She’s an inspiration, truly. Also, it made me want to puke that her college roommate asked to change rooms when they found out that Michelle was a black woman. What. A. Horrible. Bitch. JESUS CHRIST. It broke my heart. And her guidance councilor telling her to shoot lower? WHO IS LAUGHING NOW, TWAT? (Fun fact tho, my high school councilor also told me to just drop out of school because I wasn’t made for university. Three degrees later, kiss my ass).

I loved that Michelle’s belief in herself never seemed to change from childhood onward. It’s a true testament to how a strong, loving, family, can provide a foundation that can get you through so much shit in life. Parent goals.

What did y’all think?

Critique Questions

Want to join in on the discussion but don’t know were to start? Here are some helpful questions I found on sdfilmfest.com. Try going through the questions and answer a few of them in the comments below.

  • Plot: What was the movie about? Was it believable? Interesting? Thought-provoking? How was the climax revealed? How did the setting affect the story?
  • Themes and Tone: What was the central goal of the movie? Was it made to entertain, educate, or bring awareness to an issue? Was there any strong impression the movie made on you? Did any symbolism come into play?
  • Acting and Characters: Did you like how the characters were portrayed? Did the acting support the characters, and help them come to life? Did the characters display complex personalities or were they stereotypes? Were there characters that embodied certain archetypes to enhance or diminish the film?
  • Direction: Did you like how the director chose to tell the story? Was the pacing and speed of the movie too fast or too slow? Was the direction comparable to other movies this director has created? Was the storytelling complex or straightforward? Was there a certain amount of suspense or tension that worked? Did the director create a captivating conflict?
  • Score: Did the music support the mood of the movie? Was it too distracting or too subtle? Did it add to the production and work well with the script? Were the music queues timed well for the scenes they were supporting?
  • Cinematography: Were the shots used in a unique way to tell the story? Did the coloring and lighting affect the tone? Was the action coherently shot? How well did the camera move? Were actors or settings framed well?
  • Production Design: Did the sets feel lived-in and believable to the story or characters? Were the costumes suitable for the characters or story?  Did the created environments heighten the atmosphere on camera?
  • Special Effects: Were the special effects believable? Did they align with the era and tone of the movie? Were the effects overboard or too subtle? Did they integrate well to the purpose of the story?
  • Editing: Was the editing clean or choppy? Was the flow consistent? What unique effects were used? How were the transitions between scenes?
  • Pace: Did the movie flow well? Was it too fast or too slow? Was it clearly organized? Did certain scenes drag down the movie?
  • Dialogue: Were the conversations believable or necessary? Did the dialogue bring context to plot developments? Did the words match the tone of the movie and personality of the characters?

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