Beyoncé HBO Documentary: Will 'Life Is But a Dream' Give An Honest Look At Her Life?

You didn't think you were going to be able to get away from Beyoncé for a weekend, did you?

First, she used up all the power at the Superdome during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Then, even in a non-performing role, she turned heads at the Grammy Awards. Now, this Saturday, her HBO Documentary Life Is But a Dream will premiere.

Not that too much Beyoncé is a bad thing. The documentary, which is directed by Beyoncé and Ed Burke, is billed as an "intimate, revealing" look at the pop star. The film premiered on Tuesday in New York, and early reviews are coming in. The overall mood is positive, some laud the openness of Beyoncé even while others have said there is a promotional glitz to the movie. Either way, it's Beyoncé, so it's most likely worth watching.


The trailer for Life Is But a Dream reveals that Beyoncé will be shown in a way she's never been seen before. Not only does Beyoncé co-direct the movie, but she shot most of the footage herself, including her video diaries. The trailer implies that Beyoncé is going to be much more open about her relationship with Jay-Z and the birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy, who, as Beyoncé admits, wasn't planned, than ever before. 

Tuesday night's premiere earned mostly positive, if somewhat mixed, reviews. 

Oprah, who introduced the film, told the crowd that "it really lives up to the woman," whom she called the "beloved mistress of the universe."

David Wiegand of the SF Gate, wrote that the movie failed to live up to the promised intimacy the trailer implied. He writes, "The film would just be a shameless promotional piece for the multi-Grammy winner, were it not for the fact that she comes across as an admirably confident professional without exhibiting huge diva moments, sincerely in love with husband Jay-Z, equally credible as she expresses the pain she felt when her first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and about tabloid stories that she would use a surrogate for her second pregnancy in order to preserve her figure. She tenderly displays her swollen body not long before the birth of her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, and the image speaks volumes."

Brad Wete of Billboard said Life Is But a Dream is "a pleasant surprise of a watch," while Madeline Boardman of the Huffington Post couldn't stop focusing on Beyoncé's belly chain.

Any way you look at it, this will be a view into Beyoncé's life that has never been seen before. Whether it lives up to it's billing remains to be seen. Either way, people will watch Beyoncé no matter what.

Life Is But a Dream premieres Saturday night on HBO at 9 p.m. EST. 

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Liam Boylan-Pett

Liam is a culture writing intern at PolicyMic. His work has appeared in "Running Times" and other running publications. He is also a professional middle-distance runner for the New Jersey-New York Track Club. After graduating from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree, he earned a Master's of Professional Studies in Journalism from Georgetown University. Originally from Bath, Mich, he spends his time watching TV, reading longform journalism, and thinking about who is going to be in the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four.

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