The girl behind the name.

Documentary Music
128 min     7.6     2015     United Kingdom


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.


Reno wrote:
> Life on a thin line between pleasure and despair. Do you think anyone says 'I should have known him' after watching 'This Is It'. The answer is definitely yes. In the non-English speaking countries, many people don't know who Michael Jackson is or was. To me, this documentary is a similar case, I had no clue about who Amy Winehouse was or I never listened her musics before. So thanks to the director for this film and I also congratulate him for the Oscars nomination. The movie was not complete. As any documentary this one too based on the recorded audio and video clips, and a series of interviews of whom she had worked with and closed ones. It was like a puzzle, but was arranged neatly in the chronological order. You know, you won't get all the truth from them, many stuffs remain mystery. So this is only a person's quality and character from many (people's) angles, but the accuracy, the honesty is with Amy that's never going to be revealed. Because only she knows about all she went through in her life like we do in our life. Without arguably I agree films and documentary films are too short to squeeze all in about 2 hours to depict a person's entire life and people who watch it to judge that person is not justified. In this, the end was so sudden, like they had no more footages about what really happened. The trivia says Amy's father was not happy about the movie for the portrayal of his daughter, especially the last few years of her life. Only a very few know how much true this film is, but anyway something was very clear that he has not been the father she has wished for. Every child deserves a good parenting. I feel Amy's struggle began from her childhood itself. But after the teenage, while becoming more independent, she lost her path, besides the fame poured in. She definitely had a gifted voice, she did not know how to manage it and someone should have been there to guide her. According to this film, I think the marriage was the beginning of the dark side of the Amy. > "When you looked at her lyrical and melodic capability, > she was a very old soul in a very young body." I have not seen all the Academy Award nominees except this and 'Cartel Land', but I certainly think this film has the edge to win the best Documentary film. Definitely Amy's life story deserves to be made as a feature film and I'm up for it. Because somewhere I read the reply to a question 'why Bill Gates is not celebrated as the Steve Jobs? After all bother of them achieved a lot in the same field and contributed to modernise the computer technology'. The reply was like this: 'Bill Gates was from a financially well settled family who was good at studies and his life was very smooth, support was poured from all the corners. While Steve Jobs was a child of an immigrant parents and had to struggle for his achievements. So he went through many ups and downs in his life and people have soft corner for that'. This film had all qualities to inspire from the Amy's achievement as well as lessons to learn from her personal life. Everybody has their personal issues and so the Amy. Becoming a prey for the drugs and alcohol is very common these days among the celebrities. For example Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman and many other stars are the victims for the drug addiction. That does not mean their achievements are nothing. Simply, we see one of the many faces of them. After all, we're humans go after what we desire for, but everything has limits, after that what comes is a self-destruction. It is a very nice movie. If you know her and still want to know better, and if you don't know her and want to know about her, for both it is a must see. 8/10
SierraKiloBravo wrote:
Click here for a video version of this review: The life and times of Amy Winehouse were tracked with glee by the world's media, and news of her death somehow came as no surprise. The 2015 documentary simply named _Amy_ charts the life of Winehouse, from pre-fame to discovery to the heights of her fame to her spiral into drugs. This is a dark and bleak documentary, and in parts is really really sad. I've heard this documentary referred to as "the best found footage horror movie of the year" and while that was said tongue in cheek, I definitely get what they mean. Because its a collection of phone calls, interviews, and home movies this has a very intimate feel to it, and at times it almost feels voyeuristic to watch. While giving it a creepy tone, the home movies aid with making this all feel so real. I do feel like it could have benefited from a narrator. It just kind of moves from stage to stage in the timeline with the odd flashback here and there. I think with a narrator there could have been expanded explanations of what we were seeing on screen, and maybe some more background info. The lack of a guiding voice made this feel to me like something was missing. But that's just a minor gripe. This is a difficult documentary to watch but gives a very raw and open glimpse into the horrible effects that drug and alcohol abuse can have on people. It is not a tribute to Winehouse and her music, but a dive into the darker side of the entertainment industry. It's worth a look, but go into it prepared for a very rough ride.