Since it made its debut in the US earlier this month, Framing Britney Spears has caused quite the stir with celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler commenting on it.
And with the documentary now in the UK, fans can now watch the film for themselves.
Directed by Samantha Stark and produced by Jason Stallman, Sam Dolnick, and Stephanie Priess, Faming Britney explores the 28-year career of one of the biggest pop stars, Britney Spears, and her legal attempt to remove her father from her conservatorship – a request that was denied in late 2020.
So, how can you watch it in the UK? Here’s everything you need to about the New York Times Documentary, Framing Britney Spears.
How to watch Framing Britney Spears UK
Framing Britney Spears is now available to watch on Sky Documentaries on NOW TV.
The film premiered on the streaming site on Tuesday, 16th February at 9pm. However, for those who missed it, they can watch it on demand on NOW TV.
How to watch Framing Britney Spears in the US
Framing Britney Spears, The New York Times Presents documentary, was released in the US on FX and Hulu on Friday 5th February in the US. Hulu isn’t available in the UK, or outside the US. You can sign up for a free trial.
What is Framing Britney Spears about?
Framing Britney Spears is a documentary from the New York Times, exploring the international pop star’s rise to fame, the difficulties she’s faced as a result and the recent legal cases and controversy concerning her welfare.
The film looks at Spears’s relationship with her father Jamie Spears and the conservatorship she’s been under since 2008 – when she was involuntarily admitted to a hospital’s psychiatric ward – which gives her father control over her finances and many aspects of her life.
In November 2020, the 39-year-old singer’s request to remove her father from her conservatorship was denied, with a judge instead approving Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator alongside Jamie, despite Spears’s lawyer telling the court that “she is afraid of her father” and “will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career”.
Framing Britney Spears looks at this legal battle whilst seeking to uncover the truth behind the #FreeBritney movement, spearheaded by fans who’ve campaigned to terminate the conservatorship.
Who appears in Framing Britney Spears?
Britney Spears herself does not appear in the documentary, with the film stating that producers were unsure whether their request for her participation even reached her, while her family declined to participate.
Framing Britney Spears director Samantha Stark told Variety: “We tried every which way to get a smoke signal to Britney about the documentary, but there is such a tight circle around her that we don’t know if she got those requests or not. We didn’t get a ‘no’ from her. We never got anything from her.”
The documentary speaks to a number of people who had encountered Spears however, such as former assistant Felicia Cutlotta and paparazzo Daniel Ramos, who Spears infamously attacked with an umbrella.
The film also features archival interviews with Spears throughout her career – from her time performing on Star Search aged 11 in 1992 to a 2003 primetime interview with Diane Sawyer, during which the journalist grilled her on unproven rumours that she’d cheated on Justin Timberlake and told her that Kendel Ehrlich, the wife of a Maryland governor, had said if she “had the opportunity to shoot Britney Spears” she would take it.
What has Britney Spears said about the documentary?
While Britney Spears has not issued a direct response to the documentary since its release on Friday, she did seem to indirectly address the film in an Instagram post on Tuesday 11th February.
Posting a video of her performing her hit Toxic in 2018, Spears wrote: “Can’t believe this performance of Toxic is from 3 years ago!!! I’ll always love being on stage…but I am taking the time to learn and be a normal person…
“I love simply enjoying the basics of every day life!!!! Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!!
“We all have so many different bright beautiful lives!!! Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens!!!!”[sic]
Framing Britney Spears reviews and reactions
Various celebrities have reacted to the documentary since its release on Friday, with both Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler tweeting, “#FreeBritney” and Miley Cyrus telling the audience at a pre-Super Bowl performance: “We love Britney!”
Meanwhile Paramore singer Hayley Williams wrote on Twitter that “no artist today would have to endure the literal torture that media/society/utter misogynists inflicted upon her.”
“The mental health awareness conversation, culturally, could never be where it is without the awful price she has paid,” she added in the post, which was subsequently shared by singer Sam Smith.
Meanwhile sites reviewing the documentary have said that the film does not come to a concrete conclusion about Spears’ circumstances, with Entertainment Weekly writing that “too much information has been obscured by the parties involved”.
Variety wrote that Framing Britney Spears doesn’t reach a final judgment, but raises “the idea that Spears may indeed be grateful for the ministrations of her fans online”.
Framing Britney Spears trailer
The New York Times released a trailer for Framing Britney Spears at the end of January, looking at Spears’s rise to fame and her treatment in the press.
Framing Britney Spears is now available to watch on NOW TV. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV guide. For more news on Documentaries, see here, or you can take a look at our best Netflix documentaries.