Yes, yes, yes.
Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse, the iconic British songstress who famously sang “no, no, no” to rehab, easily could have been just another Behind The Music rockumentary. You know, know, know the familiar rock star arc: Tortured artist rises to fame, turns to drugs and alcohol and dies too early.
However, the filmmakers had amazing access to her personal voicemails, candid home videos, filmed recording sessions and televised events, which takes Amy to a new level; it’s two hours of fascinating.
I expected the documentary to be half about her personal life and half about the influence her music had on those that followed her. It’s not. There are no clips from Adele or Lady Gaga. The only artist to reflect in this film, Tony Bennett, compares her legacy to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. It’s the only odd moment in the film. With only two albums to her name, that quote would have only felt right in a movie that spent any time exploring her influential place in music. This movie focuses on her chaotic personal life.
It was the right approach. I often find it difficult to sympathize with self-destructive superstars, but this film is so personal that I did. Through the candid footage, viewers can feel the chaos of going from just a girl who can sing to a wealthy worldwide star under scrutiny of both the paparazzi and family and record labels that want the money train to keep moving forward.
Any album-owning fan will enjoy seeing Amy on the big screen.
Simply put: The best parts are the small moments that reveal so much about Amy. Just like the lyrics of her songs.
Award potential: It’s not revolutionary filmmaking nor socially or politically impactful, so it’s a long shot for an Oscars Best Documentary nomination.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.