Celine Dion documentary achieves rare perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes

I Am: Céline Dion has achieved a rare 100 per cent score from critics on review aggragator website Rotten Tomatoes.

The documentary was released on Tuesday (25 June) on Prime Video, following a short theatrical run beginning 21 June.

Critics have praised the film for how it documents the singer’s struggles with Stiff Person Syndrome, an autoimmune and neurological condition that causes muscle spasms and torso rigidity.

The Independent called the documentary “heartbreaking”, citing a scene in which Dion experiences a debilitating seizure when trying to record songs for the 2023 rom-com Love Again.

Céline Dion performing at the “Power of Love Gala”  for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in June 2015 (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Céline Dion performing at the “Power of Love Gala” for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in June 2015 (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Standard described I Am Céline as “a raw, heartbreaking and deeply moving window into the reclusive life of a once-in-a-generation talent cut down in its prime”, while The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “This palpable and visceral glimpse into her pain is a jolting reminder of the toll this condition has taken on Dion not just as a star but as a person.”

The film chronicles Dion’s life from her childhood in Quebec, to her victory in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, to her global stardom. The musician alternates between English and Frenc in her music, which features hits such as “My Heart Will Go On“, “The Power of Love” and “I’m Alive”.

Directed by the documentary-maker Irene Taylor, it combines archive footage from her 40-year-long career, with interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage from the period when she cancelled her Las Vegas residency in 2021.

In the documentary, the five-time Grammy-winner reveals that she first started noticing symptoms of Stiff Person Syndrome 17 years ago. In December 2022, Dion announced in an Instagram video that she had been diagnosed with the condition, and in May 2023, she cancelled the remaining dates of her world tour.

Stiff Person Syndrome affects approximately one in a million people. Most people who have the condition begin experiencing symptoms between the ages of 30 and 60. Doctors do not know what causes Stiff Person Syndrome, but theorise that the body might attack nerve cells, which control muscle movement.

On 18 June, Dion made her first red carpet appearance since revealing her diagnosis at the New York premiere of the film. She attended the event alongside her children, René-Charles, 23, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 13.

Dion shares her children with her late husband, René Angélil who died in 2016 from throat cancer.

Speaking at the event, the star spent approximately 10 minutes thanking her neurologist, her children, and Taylor.

I Am: Céline Dion is available to watch now on Prime Video.