Video Review: Leona Lewis “Better In Time”

Filmed in black-and-white, inside a studio, the photographer begins to set up the camera. Leona Lewis sits on a stool. People pick lint off her clothes. A woman puts some blush on her face and then adds some more makeup to her face.

In color, she sits on a black-and-white checkered floor, wearing a  black dress. She plays with the lace attached to the end of it, pretending it’s a veil. It switches back and forth to her in black-and-white, sitting on the stool. In color, assistants rush to her to fix the lace.

Still in color, she sits on a velvety brown couch. It switches to her being on the checkered floor.

Back in black-and-white, she grins while she sits on the stool. In color, she sits by a vanity, her hand on her chin. On the checkered floor, she covers her face with the black lace. It changes to vintage black-and-white, as Lewis wills herself not to cry, then rotates between color and black-and-white.

In color, she gets up, looks at the clothes on the rack and sits down on a chair. The stylist puts dresses by her and she seems overwhelmed by it. During her break, she sits with a styrofoam cup in her hand.

On stage, she stands, wearing a sparkly navy blue gown with a wooden frame behind her. She shakes her hands and says it’s not working for her.

She walks through an empty bedroom, listening to music. She takes the headphones out and opens the window. She walks with a horse.

Later, a man tries to get the horse under control. Lewis looks on and then stands by the horse.

In black-and-white, the photo shoot is over and people are beginning to leave. Lewis remains on her stool.

Rating: 2/5

While it is common in videos for parts of photo shoots to be in black-and-white, the black-and-white intends to show the work behind it. The camera gets moved. Leona Lewis’ makeup gets touched up. She listens and waits as the stylists and photographer talk.

Then, it switches to color, with another part of the shoot nearly completed. Then, assistants coming to fix the lace, which breaks the pattern and starts the inconsistency that runs throughout the video.

After messing up a shot, in color, she walks outside  and to the stables. It’s unclear if she’s home or simply exploring the grounds she is on as she is working. However, once the horse is shown again, it seems as though it’s a movie set and Lewis is waiting for her cue.

The video succeeds when it’s in black-and-white, preparing and fixing, aiming for perfection. But when perfection is reached (with the fully realized shots), there seems to be something missing. The blemishes – seeing the bit of chaos going on like the camera moving in front of Lewis, Lewis wearing a sweatshirt and the makeup people obsessing over face – allows the fashion world to be seen as an actual work instead of a glamorous day job that looks cool on a resume.

Director: Sophie Muller Year: 2008


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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