Currently streaming on Netflix worldwide is the documentary film, Halftime. The movie – directed by Amanda Micheli – follows the career of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, as she discusses the highs and lows of being in the limelight.

Narrated by Lopez, with occasional input from family members and friends, the docu-film offers an insight into J.Lo’s world. The movie showcases the entertainer’s drive and determination, as well as her passion for her work, and highlights her desire to keep moving forward despite challenges that are thrown her way.

Image: ©Netflix
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Filmed between 2019 and 2021, Halftime zeroes in on a specific point in Lopez’s life, with three key events driving the narrative forward: Her 50th birthday, the release of her critically acclaimed movie Hustlers, and her performance at the US Super Bowl. The Super Bowl in particular shapes the majority of this docu-film’s narrative, with the picture looking at the pressure and preparation of such a high-profile event.

Set to the backdrop of social and political upheaval in the US, with the Trump administration in power and immigration being a hot topic, the film also looks at the important role an entertainer such as Jennifer Lopez can play on the international stage. Performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl is a significant milestone in America, and the movie touches upon Lopez’s desire as a Latino American to deliver the best show possible.

Image: ©Netflix
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What’s interesting about this movie is that early on, Lopez states that she doesn’t see herself as a politically-minded person. Politics is not something she wants to engage in, and her focus has always been on her career.  

Yet Lopez openly admits that she acts in movies in order to tell stories that effect change, and her goal for the Super Bowl show – which she co-headlines with Shakira – is to alter the negative narrative surrounding race in the US. So, through her goals and desires Lopez demonstrates that she is politically switched on nonetheless.

This proves important, as a huge part of Halftime is about Lopez using her voice and platform to promote change – not through her words so to speak, but rather through her actions. This then feeds into a wider story, which is about the journey she has undertaken throughout her lifetime, to become the super star that she is.

The film looks at the difficulties she has faced at home, in front of the cameras, and the challenges she encounters as a Latino woman in an industry largely dominated by white males. She might be incredibly wealthy and have millions of fans, but maintaining her career and showcasing her true self is something which she has continually had to fight for throughout her life.

Image: ©Netflix
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While I have an appreciation for some of Jennifer Lopez’s music and I like a few of her films, I can’t say I have ever known a great deal about Lopez as a person. There is a public image of Lopez that has been pushed by tabloids and gossip columns over the years, and this has often overshadowed her work.

Yet after watching Halftime, I feel that not only do I have a greater understanding of who she is at heart, I also like her even more than I did before. Her hard work and drive shine in this picture, and she comes across as a very smart, very accomplished, and very likeable person.

The job of a good documentary is to bring something new to the screen, and inform the audience about subject matters they either didn’t know or didn’t really care about. Halftime succeeds here because it gets to the core of who Lopez is, while telling an engaging, coherent, and relevant story.

Whether you are a fan or Lopez or not, Halftime is a good docu-film which I suggest you take a look at. The movie showcases the human side of a huge celebrity, and demonstrates there is far more interesting things going on with J.Lo than stories about her love life.

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