Madonna: Truth or Dare
1991 (An oldie but a goodie)

One of the most successful documentaries of all time (and the most successful in 1991, with a worldwide gross of $29,012,935) is the revealing and raw documentary of the controversial and talented Madonna and her 1990, Blond Ambition World Tour. Filmed essentially in black and white (onstage appearances are in color) the film unmasks the iconic singer and reveals a vulnerable, determined and ambitious young woman who struggles to manage her career, friends, family and ultimately her life under uniquely glamorous, yet stressful circumstances.

Truth or Dare is an entertaining and eye-opening peek at the real life of an internationally famous pop singer who is overexposed, yet simultaneously misunderstood. Beyond the façade of glittering celebrity is an engaging woman who grapples with a faltering voice and failing relationships. You can’t help but admire her for her strength (defying Canadian sensors by stating, “I’d rather cancel my show than change it”) or her sympathizing with her for her frailties (laying next to her mother’s grave saying, “I’m going to fit in right here. They’re going to bury me sideways”). Her bigger than life persona on stage is attacked with insecurities offstage but she manages to successfully battled her occasional self-doubt with her super powered self-confidence.

The entertainment value of the film gets an additional boost from appearances of Madonna’s famous friends, such as, Sandra Bernhard, Antonio Banderas, Kevin Costner and then boyfriend, Warren Beatty, among others. One of the more memorable lines from the movie is Beatty’s rather snarky comment on Madonna’s mega-celebrity status, “She doesn’t want to live off camera, much less talk… What point is there of existing off-camera?”

Other perks of the film include concert footage of songs like, Oh Father, Like a Virgin, Express Yourself, and Vogue, plus experts from mega-hits such as Papa Don’t Preach, and Like a Prayer. Whether she is singing Happy Birthday to her father in front of a sold-out audience or attending a major red carpet movie premiere Madonna is captivating yet relatable. This controversial diva not only entertains, but makes you think, feel and imagine what it might be like to be one of the world’s biggest pop stars – and that’s a fun trip. The documentary runs slightly over two hours and is worth its weight buttered popcorn.