Celine Dion's siblings bash singer's biopic

MONTREAL • Celine Dion's brother and sister have thrashed the offbeat biopic Aline: The Voice Of Love, inspired by the singer's rise from child stardom to queen of soft rock, and set to be released in theatres in her native Canada today.

"I don't recognise the language. I don't recognise my family. I don't recognise our roots," Ms Claudette Dion, the Grammy Award winner's sister, told popular Quebec radio show, La Semaine Des 4 Julie, on Tuesday.

She and brother Michel Dion, who appeared as guests on the show, said the "humour misses the mark" and that several scenes "went too far".

They also accused Valerie Lemercier, who directs and stars in the film, of wildly distorting their sibling's life and personality.

"My mother never spoke like that to Rene (Celine's husband) and Celine never wanted for anything. We pass for a gang of classless grumps," she commented.

Mr Rene Angelil was Celine Dion's manager from 1981, when she was 12 years old and he was 38, until two years before he died at the age of 73 in 2016. They married in 1994.

Critics at Cannes, where the film had its world premiere in July, were divided over whether the account of the Canadian megastar was a "sincere and moving homage" or "so pointless as a film that you can see it only as an extravagant piece of conceptual art".

The film-makers said then that they had tweaked the star's name to Aline Dieu to give them some wriggle room over the details of her story, though they claimed it hews closely to Dion's real life and songs.

"The film we saw, Claudette and I, is not exactly what we expected," said Mr Dion, who has accompanied Dion on tour for 30 years as a stage manager.

"That's not our life," added Ms Claudette Dion, seated next to him at the studio.

On Sunday, Lemercier told Quebec television talk show Tout Le Monde En Parle that she had never met Celine Dion, but is a big fan of the singer.

The 57-year-old actress-director said she tried to make the film "touching and funny like (Dion)".

"I hope she will see the care we have all taken to pay tribute to her," she said, adding that she hoped "that one day she will see it and that it will please her".

Dion, 53, postponed a new Las Vegas residency last month, saying she has been suffering from "severe and persistent muscle spasms" that have prevented her from rehearsing for the show.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2021, with the headline 'Celine Dion's siblings bash singer's biopic'. Subscribe