We’ll Admit It: The Beyoncé Doc Made Us Tear Up A Few Times

It's no secret that we're pretty big Beyoncé fans around here. This writer has seen the star in concert more than once, and might currently be a little heartbroken about being sold out of the upcoming Barclays show. But even still, we walked into the screening of her upcoming doc, Life Is But A Dream, a little anxious — even apprehensive. Because self-produced celeb documentaries tend to disappoint. We wanted so much more than the average the path to world domination is hard, y'all fluff.
And we got it. Mostly. We'll admit off the bat that it's way too long (we found ourselves emailing the office pretty regularly starting around the hour mark), but there's a lot of ground to cover. Close-up confessions (we're thinking this is where all that 'round-the-clock "archival" footage comes into play), moments in the recording studio, real pain around her relationship with her dad, some pretty explosive performances (sometimes, you just want to see the entirety of "Crazy In Love," twice), and of course, the obligatory pregnant belly shots to quiet the haters — and even a few fleeting glimpses at Blue Ivy and Jay.
But, what resonated most with us were the interview vignettes. There, we see a beautiful woman in almost no makeup (it's amazing how jarring it can be to see a normally made-up celeb in no eyeliner) speak openly and honestly. Spoiler alert: This is where the tears came in. She tells us how much she loves a husband she normally doesn't even mention at award shows. She shares the conflicted feelings she has about her troubled relationship with her dad. And, in a scene that's now been covered in the gossip rags, ad nauseam, she reveals a heartbreaking story about a miscarriage she had two years ago — and then sings the lyrics she wrote about it. It's hard to accuse that kind of raw emotion of being manufactured, or overly slick and produced.
You don't have to take our word for it, though. Click through for our favorite quotes from the doc — Beyoncé on women; social politics; money; love; and heartbreak, unfiltered and in her own words. beyonce-close-up Photos: Courtesy of HBO

On wanting to change her sound, when she made 4:
"I want to sing about how much I hate myself that day, if I want to."

On thriving on antagonism:
"I used to like when people made me mad. I was like: Please piss me off before the performance."

On making music for women:
"I'm always thinking about women. And what we need to hear. It's difficult being a woman. There's so much pressure. We need that support. And we need to escape sometimes."

On gender politics:

"Women have to work much harder to make it in this world. It really pisses me off that women don't get the same opportunities as men do. Or money, for that matter. Because, let's face it: Money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define our values and what's sexy — and feminine."


On Jay-Z

"We connected on a spiritual level...It's every woman's dream to feel this way about someone."
(And then later, in footage of his birthday toast):

"You taught me how to be a woman. You taught me how to live...there's not enough I can give you."

On her miscarriage (the lyrics to the first song she wrote for her upcoming album):
"You took the life right out of me. I'm so unlucky I can't breathe."

On finding out she was pregnant with Blue:
"Being pregnant is like falling in love. You're so open."

Life Is But A Dream debuts on HBO tomorrow, February 16, at 9 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

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