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Becoming review: Michelle Obama documentary leaves us yearning for an end to the Trump era

Netflix's Michelle Obama documentary leaves us yearning for an end to the Trump era, says Paul Whitington

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Michelle Obama with Oprah in Becoming

Michelle Obama with Oprah in Becoming

Michelle Obama with Oprah in Becoming

Gabe Polsky's Red Army was one of the best sports documentaries I've seen, and in this more dryly cerebral film, he talks to sporting legends like Pelé, Jerry Rice and Wayne Gretzky about what separated them from the pack. There's hand-eye and natural athleticism and all that, but what's different about the great, it seems, is their pure love of their sport and desire to understand it at a profound level. As a kid, Gretzky, arguably the best ice hockey player there's ever been, used to sit watching games with a drawing of the rink, using a pen to trace the puck's path without looking. Why? He was learning how to be great. PW

The world needs characters, and they don't come more cussed or distinctive than Diana Kennedy. Born in Essex in 1923, Diana Southwood emigrated to Canada in the 1950s, sold Wedgewood, got married and moved to Mexico. After her husband, the journalist Paul Kennedy died, Diana fell in love with Mexican cuisine, and began touring every corner of the country in a battered pick-up, gathering up recipes and tips. As we discover in Elizabeth Carroll's thoroughly winning documentary, Diana is still going strong at 97, taking no crap off anyone, honking slow drivers and telling it like it is. Her enthusiasm is compelling. PW

I imagine even some card-carrying Republicans would shed a furtive tear of joy if they woke to find that the Trump incumbency had been a protracted nightmare and Barack Obama was still in the White House. Under the Trump administration, America has stepped up its internal race war, seriously weakened its historic links with the EU, the UN, NATO and the WHO, courted crass plutocrats from Vladimir Putin to Jair Bolsonaro and become an international laughing stock - all for the sake of an economic boom that began under Obama and has just definitively ended.