Celine Dion attended a screening of her new documentary, I Am: Celine Dion, yesterday in New York. She was accompanied by her eldest son, René-Charles Angélil, and others in attendance included director Irene Taylor, Laverne Cox, and Candace Bushnell. But let’s be real, wherever Celine Dion goes, Celine Dion is The Star. I’m not even the biggest Celine fan, and even I know when she shows up, it is An Event.


It’s even more of an event now, of course, because for the last two years, that we have been aware, Celine has struggled with Stiff Person Syndrome. It’s a major focus in her documentary, her diagnosis and treatment and progress back toward the stage. Again, not even the biggest Celine fan, and I’m watching this trailer like, Oh sh-t, Celine the Queen of All Emotion is going to make me cry. Lainey already texted me about seeing the film and said she was “wrecked from it".



When Celine talks about her fans, you can feel her sincerity. I don’t buy that every artist, even the ones who heavily court an active fanbase, really like, let alone love, their fans. But Celine? I believe it. She is a true-blue, born entertainer, and I believe that having to cancel shows feels like a personal failing to her, even though her reason for doing so is 100% understandable. 


What moves me most in the trailer for her documentary are the moments when you can see how it weighs on her, to feel like she’s failing her fans, not having “shiny apples” to give them, not understanding they love her for being the “tree”.


It’s easy to dunk on Celine, like Keanu, her brand of earnestness hasn’t always been cool. But also like Keanu, she is A Star, the kind we don’t mint very often. Really, what Celine Dion is, is rarer than a Movie Star. She’s a true Icon, her voice recognizable across languages and generations. With this documentary hopefully signaling at least a partial return to public life, we have a chance to appreciate Celine all over again, and not just for her voice or her theatrics, but for the WORK that goes into being Celine Dion. Because if it didn’t take work before, it does now, but that hasn’t diminished her. If anything, it’s only made Celine, the person and the Icon, stronger.

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