Selena Gomez scored a hit with critics after the AFI Fest premiere of her new documentary My Mind & Me.
The documentary, which features Selena’s shocking revelation that she’s been contemplating suicide for several years, currently has an impressive 100 percent new rating from critics polled by Rotten tomatoes.
Reviewers for the film, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+, praised the unvarnished way Selena, 30, has delved into her struggles with mental health over the past few years.
Reviews are in! The Selena Gomez documentary My Mind & Me has been a hit with critics so far, scoring a perfect 100 percent new review on Rotten Tomatoes after its Wednesday premiere; Gomez seen on Wednesday at AFI Fest in Hollywood
In a review for the New York TimesChris Azzopardi says the documentary doesn’t feel like a “publicity tool,” while praising it as “sincere and soul-expanding.”
He cites the director, Alek Keshishian, who has previously worked on Madonna’s Truth Or Dare documentary, as being willing to focus on the more difficult aspects of his subject’s rise.
Azzopardi also draws attention to a scene in the film where Selena goes home to Texas to revisit some of her old friends, which seems to give her a sense of “real connection,” unlike the countless journalists she’s with in contact during interviews.
Going in-depth: In a review for the New York Times, Chris Azzopardi says the documentary doesn’t feel like a “publicity tool,” while praising it as “sincere and soulful”
Hard hitting: He chooses the director, Alek Keshishian, who previously helmed Madonna’s Truth Or Dare documentary, because he was willing to focus on the more difficult aspects of his subject’s rise
In front of VarietyChris Willman gives Gomez’s unbeatable charisma a thumbs up, writing that she is as “sweet as you can imagine, because of her personality in music, television, movies and philanthropic endeavors.”
He especially likes that the documentary didn’t try to squeeze a triumphant third-act solution to the Spring Breakers star’s struggles with bipolar disorder.
It’s not headed for a bleak ending either, but the fact that the filmmakers can’t figure out a way to end up on a pep rally sets this film apart from the wave of documents where minor crises of conscience or even colds are easily resolved plot points on the way to a big closing stadium show,” he writes.
Gomez is not listed as a producer in the film, which may have made it easier for the director to avoid an uplifting ending.
The film opens abruptly with Gomez’s 2016 Revival tour, which is derailed when she suffered a “psychotic breakdown” and weighed down thoughts of self-harm.
Willman notes, however, that the entertainer’s former relationship with fellow singer Justin Bieber barely features in My Mind & Me, making it hard to know if the failed romance played a part in her mental battle.
Also largely absent from the film are discussions of her time as a Disney Channel star or her recent success in the critically acclaimed Hulu comedy Only Murders In The Building, starring Steve Martin and Martin Short.
Captivating: For Variety, Chris Willman gives Gomez’s unbeatable charisma a thumbs up, writing that she’s as “amiable as you imagined for her personality in music, television, movies and philanthropic endeavors”
Refreshing: ‘It’s not headed for a bleak ending either, but the fact that the filmmakers don’t think of a way to end up on a pep rally sets this film apart from the wave of documents in which minor crises of conscience or even colds are easily dealt with. unloading plot points en route to a big closing stadium show,” he writes
The Hollywood ReporterCritic Lovia Gyarkye writes that My Mind & Me complements her 2020 album Rare, which was a hit with critics and topped the Billboard 200 album chart.
Gyarkye writes about how Keshishian highlights Gomez’s exhaustion with scenes of her sitting through interviews that never get below the surface of her life.
The reviewer emphasizes that the director again alternates between black-and-white and color images, similar to his style on his Madonna documentary, making for a more intriguing visual presentation.
However, she notes that Gomez is still wary of aspects of her life, and her career as an actor is largely left untouched in favor of her singing career.
Striking: Lovia Gyarkye, critic of The Hollywood Reporter, noted how the film alternates between black-and-white and color cinematography
Mixed positive: Adrian Horton’s three-out-of-five-star review for The Guardian calls Gomez an ’eminently likable and winning figure’, while lamenting that some images of her are ‘cringing’
Adrian Horton’s three-of-five-star review for: the guard calls Gomez an ’eminently sympathetic and winning figure’.
However, the critic points out that, no matter how straightforward the film may seem, large parts of Gomez’s personal and professional life are left out.
Horton seems to like Gomez’s narration more than some sequences of her interaction with others.
“The disconnect feels most acute in a mid-chapter in Kenya, where Gomez attends a school she helped support through the now-controversial We Charity,” she writes. “Gomez clearly cares; the images — a focal point of the film — are still cringing.’
But the documentary is also “strongest” and “braveest” at times when it shows Gomez’s shortcomings, such as when she “responds poorly to genuine concern.”
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me is streaming on Apple TV+ starting Friday.
Coming Soon: Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me Streams Friday on Apple TV+