Whitney Houston dazzles critics in "Sparkle" film preview

IMG_9664.CR2 Alicia Gbur

Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston in 2012's "Sparkle"
Alicia Gbur/Sony
(CBS/AP) Critics and theater owners got a sneak peek of Whitney Houston's final film, "Sparkle," Wednesday night at the CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas. And they say they liked what they saw.

Houston served as executive producer of the movie, which had already finished filming in Detroit when she died in Beverly Hills on Feb. 11 at age 48.

Read more: Trailer from Whitney Houston's "Sparkle" debuts
Complete Coverage: Death of a pop diva
Pictures: Whitney Houston
Read more: Coroner's report details drug signs

A brief preview featured Houston's trademark dazzling smile as she danced in a living room in celebration.

The remake of the 1976 movie stars Houston as the mother of three girls who form a singing group and struggle with fame and drug addiction. The movie, scheduled for release in August, was seen as a comeback vehicle for the superstar, whose career suffered in recent years as she battled with drug and alcohol abuse.

The preview footage largely focused on Jordin Sparks, who was seen playing a piano in a modest home, glasses dangling from her nose. In later scenes, she appeared glammed up in sparkling, curve-hugging gowns. It's the "American Idol" winner's first notable Hollywood role.

Cee Lo Green also sings in the movie.

Houston labored for 12 years to get "Sparkle" on the big screen. The film marked her first return to cinema since 1996's "The Preacher's Wife." Her Hollywood debut came 20 years ago in the blockbuster movie "The Bodyguard."

There's already some Oscar buzz building, with Access Hollywood movie critic Scott Mantz suggesting, "I'm calling this now: Whitney Houston will get nominated for Best Supporting Actress for 'Sparkle.'"

An autopsy showed Houston accidentally drowned in a hotel room bathtub on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors.

  • CBS News Staff

Comments