WATCH: Whitney Houston Shines in the 'Sparkle' Trailer

Based on this newly released clip, the music legend, who passed away in February, turns in a powerful performance in her final movie role

Whitney Houston is gone too soon, but she has one last chance to shine. Before her tragic death in February at the age of 48, Houston shot a major supporting role in the upcoming drama Sparkle -- her first feature film in more than 15 years. On Monday morning, Today premiered a first look at the trailer, which has since popped up online. Watch below!
 


Sparkle stars American Idol winner Jordin Sparks as the title character, one of three sisters who become overnight sensations in the 1960s when they form a Supremes-like singing group. Houston costars as their hard-working mother, a former professional singer who's determined to make her girls more successful than she was.

Watching the video, it's hard not to draw connections between Sparkle and Houston's life. In the 1976 movie on which the new one is based, the girl group is destroyed by the temptations of fame, including drug addiction and an abusive relationship -- which certainly parallels what happened to Houston over the years. But in the trailer, we see Whitney not as the star, but as the aging former star looking to recapture her glory days through her daughter. And now that we've all seen Bobbi Kristina grieving for her lost mother, that's even more resonant.

"I always knew you had the gift. It makes me feel like I've done something right," Houston whispers to Sparks in the trailer, and you can imagine her saying the same thing to Bobbi Kristina in real life.

What's most striking about the scenes of Houston, though, is how good an actress she is. In just a few seconds, we see that her character is sassy but strict, strong-willed but loving, nostalgic but pushing forward. In the 1990s, Whitney got burned out with trying to simultaneously be a movie and music star, and she put acting aside before she could really prove herself. Now it seems that she finally will.

Sparkle is scheduled to open in theaters in August.

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