Updated: Oct 8, 2020
2015 | 15+ | 128 Mins | Dir: Asif Kapadia
Archival footage and personal testimonials present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse.
I was initially worried that this film would only be adding fuel to the fire on the Amy Winehouse story and that it would be exploitative of her battle with drug addiction and her struggles with fame. Whilst it manages to be respectful, I think the most impressive thing about ‘Amy’ is the way in which it uses her story as a mirror to the media itself and its relentless obsession with celebrity culture even when someone is at the end of their rope.
Kapadia never loses sight of Amy’s talent and who she was when you strip away all of the noise that surrounded her. The film plays out primarily through archived visuals as we hear the people discuss their relationships with her. This works incredibly well for us to gain a genuine understanding of the personality we lost sight of due to the attention put on her personal struggles and allows us to empathise with the frustration of handling media attention whilst in such a vulnerable state.
An upsetting watch in that we know how Amy’s story ends but also an incredibly frustrating experience to watch the build up to it as it forces you to notice what could and should have been done before it was too late.
INTERVIEWEES: Blake Fielder-Civil, Mitch Winehouse, Mark Ronson
BEST QUOTE: "The more people see of me, the more they’ll see that all I’m good for is making music”
TRIVIA: After watching this film, James Hetfield of Metallica was inspired to write a song called "Moth into Flame".
IF YOU LIKED: Joy Division, Montage of Heck, Supersonic