The documentary, which dropped on May 6, was a surprise announcement in late April from the streaming platform in conjunction with the Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. Directed by Nadia Hallgren, it follows the former first lady on her 2018 book tour in which she traveled across the country speaking at various events.
The film features not only events that Obama spoke at, but also smaller, more intimate conversations with everyday people. While many hoped the documentary would either give a rare, unfiltered look into the personal lives of the former first family or even position Michelle Obama in a favorable position to enter the political realm herself, that doesn't appear to be the case.
Now that reviews of “Becoming” are in, critics found it to be, by and large, a watered-down, polished and glossy look at the former first lady that took no political stance and had no meaningful message.
“It won’t surprise anyone that it plays like an extended promotional video, a cross between close-contact hero worship and inspirational infomercial,” Variety wrote in its review. “There are no big revelations here, no gotcha moments or intimate scenes in which Hallgren’s subject lets down her guard, but the target audience hardly expects anything tougher. Far more than the memoir, the film presents a manicured version of the way Michelle Obama sees herself — and yet, even such a carefully image-managed impression can be telling, since it diverges so significantly from the way the world perceives her.”