BECOMING – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Netflix dropping a surprise documentary about Michelle Obama right now feels like an attack and a blessing at the same time. An attack because it’s a smack in the face, a stunning reminder of a better time in America, four long years ago. And a blessing because, well: same. Remember when, an absolute eon ago, the President of the United States wasn’t a deranged narcissist seemingly bent on destroying the nation? Remember what it was like not to be embarrassed by the residents of the White House? (I mean, even that doofus Dubya suddenly seems regal in retrospect.) Remember what it felt like it have solid leadership, even if you didn’t always agree with it?

Look, I’m not saying that Barack Obama was a perfect President — far from it. I have huge issues with his eight years in the White House, many stemming from the fact that I’m much further to the left than he ever was. But it could well be that Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, was damn near perfect, or at least in all the ways that matter for a First Lady, a horrid, thankless job for a modern woman that she performed in a way that made her a sweet ’n’ salty paragon of the position. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).