The Reel Review


Pop superstar Celine Dion, one of the world’s last remaining divas, chronicles the major milestones of her life and career in this inspirational and deeply intimate documentary. This love letter to her fans also showcases Celine Dion’s efforts to sing again, despite suffering from an exceptionally rare, debilitating disorder – Stiff Person Syndrome.

Celine Dion describes the pain of SPS in I Am Celine Dion

The most striking thing about Celine Dion in this documentary is how incredibly authentic and unpretentious she is – no makeup, no fancy hairstyle, no massive ego – just Celine Dion being earnest, heartfelt and yes, so wonderfully weird. She will make you cry but will also make you laugh with her quirky sense of humor. Celine Dion truly adores her fans. And she has a LOT of shoes.

Celine Dion performing in I Am Celine Dion

Featuring a tapestry of recent footage with her three sons at her home in Las Vegas, archival home videos of her early years and performances to remind us of her phenomenal talent, I Am Celine Dion does not shy away from the devastating physical and emotional toll SPS has had on her, robbing her of her self-identity as an entertainer. She talks about how at times almost lethal doses of valium have been needed just to walk. Unabashedly sentimental, the film includes an absolutely heartbreaking moment when Celine’s body seizes up from a severe SPS spasm, illustrating what it is like to be in the body of an individual with a physical disability. Celine Dion may feel she has lost her incredible voice, but through her illness she has found a new one – about the power of perseverance.


Celine Dion (right) with her oldest son, Rene-Charles Angelil, at the premiere of I Am Celine Dion

• Emmy awarding winning and Oscar-nominated director Irene Taylor (The Final Inch) was unsure Celine Dion would want the footage of her severe SPS spasm included in the film, but Taylor says when Celine saw it, she said “don’t take one second away.”

• Stiff Person Syndrome, or SPS, is rare and progressive autoimmune neurological condition that causes muscular rigidity and intermittent spasms. It affects only one in a million people. It has no cure.

• Celine Dion’s big break came when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Switzerland with the song “Ne partez pas sans moi” (Don’t Leave Without Me).


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  1. Melinda Jones June 27, 2024

    Life is so fucking unfair.... Having seen the spasm seizure, I was horrified and wanted to scream for her!! My fingers do that when I've been playing and it feels like an elephant standing on them. Poor Darling. I can't begin to imagine.