Amy (UK, 2015)

Amy-Winehouse-posterDirected by: Asif Kapadia. I kept hearing about how great this doc was, even though I didn’t really know anything about Amy, and I only listened to Back To Black once through. But that being said, I liked Back to Black, I still really super like “Back to Black”, and I was always curious, like a lot of people, what ever happened to that nice Amy Winehouse? This movie…oh boy…it’s one of the most heartbreaking things you’re going to see in a movie, documentary or otherwise. And yeah, keep in mind the whole thing about documentaries, they’re built on selection, exclusion, manipulation— ya know…editing. But within the confines of this doc, it’s clear that Amy was a really sweet girl in a hard, cruel industry, in a country with a hard, cruel tabloid press, and that from the beginning, she never stood a chance. It’s tragic because she was a such a naturally gifted singer, and the hard reality is that her talent wasn’t enough to save her; she also needed a thick skin, and a core of great people to protect her and guide her in the right direction, but instead she got a sleazebag dad who only saw dollar signs, and some other questionable manager types. And again, it’s just a movie, but if her dad is a fraction as sleazy as he looks in this thing, then he’s kind of the worst. So, like Making a Murderer (and like Amadeus, for that matter), it’s clear that this film does a great job at what it set out to do—to weave a compelling narrative based on real footage and real events and real people. As always, the question of how that narrative relates to the real facts and the real people is never straightforward, and predictably, highly contested. At the end of the day, though, for a casual passerby, this is an excellent film, but be warned—it’s a fucking heartbreaker. Honestly, this is one of the saddest films I’ve seen in a long time.

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2 responses to “Amy (UK, 2015)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2016 | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: What Happened, Miss Simone? (USA, 2015) | Offhand Reviews·

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