A documentary on the life of Amy Winehouse, the immensely talented yet doomed songstress. We see her from her teen years, where she already showed her singing abilities, to her finding success and then her downward spiral into alcoholism and drugs. Written by
Amy Winehouse's immediate family were initially willing to work with the film's producers and director, having heard about the success of their earlier documentary, Senna (2010). They granted the filmmakers access to hours of archive footage of Amy and her family, as well as giving the filmmakers' their blessing to interview Amy's family and friends. However, they - in particular, Amy's father, Mitch Winehouse - soon began to feel they were being misrepresented in the documentary, that the negative aspects of Amy's life were receiving much more attention than the positive, and that footage had been edited in order to produce an inaccurate narrative of Amy's story, especially the last three years of her life. Mitch Winehouse has said that Amy's fans should consider seeing the film for the rare, previously unseen, archive footage of his daughter, but should pay no attention to the film's general portrayal of her, which he has labeled "preposterous". Even after the film was nominated for an Academy Award as 'Best Documentary', Mitch Winehouse tweeted on 14 Jan. 2016: "Still hate the film though." See more »
Instead of putting Amy's Belgrade concert, filmmakers made mistake and the big zoom out was concert of Jelena Karleusa, Serbian pop/folk singer and not Amy's. See more »
This documentary is presented in an unusual way: using only footage of Amy's home videos, photos, interviews, live performances and voice-overs only for interviews from Amy and the people who knew her best. It certainly makes a nice change from the numerous camera interviews, mixed with footage of the documentary's subject. It's intimate, raw, sympathetic and heartbreaking. With so much footage of her, in the end, you feel like you really knew her. And it's absolutely gut-wrenching when she dies.
Amy's father Mitch was very critical of the movie, saying it put him in a bad light. But in truth, he already did that himself. Although the film shows him as a loving father that wants what's best for Amy, it does show him as someone who could have done more for her. Other times, he takes a misstep in trying to get his daughter off drugs, such as insisting she doesn't go to rehab the first time, then the second time allowing both her and her drug addicted husband Blake (I curse the day she ever met him) to go clean in the same clinic, which results in them going on a horrific binge later. And another, such as bringing in a horde of cameras on holiday, when the entire purpose was for Amy to get away from all of the cameras and publicity.
Like Kurt Cobain, she was a fragile human being who couldn't handle the fame. If one doesn't have it in their blood to withstand the pressure, they won't survive. Tragically, neither Kurt nor Amy could handle it.
This brilliant bio-doc paints an entirely different picture of Amy Winehouse, other than the nasty tabloids story that hampered her over the years. The tense moments when the paparazzi assaults Amy whenever she goes out got me really annoyed. This picture is one of a loving, talented, rebellious, music loving young Jewish girl - caught up in the dangerous parts of the music industry and ultimately crippled by addiction.
10 out of 10
32 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?