Pop Life

Five Things We Learned from That Beyoncé Documentary on HBO

Life is But a Dream, the HBO documentary about Beyoncé that was directed and produced by Beyoncé, premiered over the weekend. Did you watch it? Of course not, you're much too cool for that. Luckily for you, we ain't, because it was a pretty interesting little film.

Not due to the narrative, mind you, which was really pretty dull. Basically, our favorite homegrown diva walks us through the joys and anxieties of the last couple years of her life since firing her father, Matthew Knowles, as her manager and charting her own course in the biz (oh, and becoming a mommy along the way).

The film was hyped as an unvarnished look at Beyoncé's life, but who honestly believed that? She directed, produced and starred in the thing: We only see and hear what she wants us to. At best, it's a trumped-up episode of "Making the Video." At worst, it's the exceedingly boring video diary of a beautiful control freak.

Still, there were a few revealing moments on display - not all of them expected. Because your mom is too cheap to shell out for HBO, we've helpfully compiled here the top five things we learned from Life is But a Dream:

5. She hasn't forgotten her Houston roots.

The doc opens with a shot of Beyoncé's childhood home, a nice brick-and-stucco mansion in one of our city's upper-middle-class neighborhoods. She probably owns servants' quarters larger than this place today, but it's clear from the loving, lingering footage of the place that the singer sees it as the cradle in which her life and career were conceived.

"That house is my foundation," she says. Subtle.

Beyoncé sounds downright wistful as she describes growing up surrounded by a loving, supportive family in the Bayou City. These days, of course, Beyoncé can (and more or less does) live anywhere in the world she so chooses. Still, Houston remains a special place to her. As more than a few of us not-so-famous Houstonians have learned the hard way over the years, there's no place quite like home.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith