A docudrama with actors will never be necessary for the life of Amy Winehouse. Her life was so masterfully and completely captured both on and off stage in this film that any other effort would be redundant. And much of this footage is pieced together so artfully it feels like witnessing someone deliver an Oscar-caliber performance of their own life.
One need not have any fondness, fascination or familiarity with Ms. Winehouse to be completely engaged and riveted by one of the best documentaries in a decade.
This is a wonderful motion picture.
Not surprising to many, Amy shows herself to be bright, sincere and, yes, breathtakingly talented. And smart enough to make efforts and adjustments to save herself from herself. But as the film documents what it’s like to be Amy it also illuminates what we, the public, exact as a price for our affection. And we don’t make it easy. And neither does Amy’s well-meaning but hapless parents.
One of the most chillingly honest moments in the movie is the filmed meeting and recording session with Tony Bennett. There’s so much truth being thrown around that it feels like eavesdropping.
We also see the Lazarus-like physical bounce-back that young addicts can maneuver for a period of time. This also is chronicled like a meticulously crafted reality show with some degree of sensitivity and respect – a great deal of respect, in fact.
As intimate as it is, it never feels like exploitation.
I went in a casual admirer and came out a fan.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews to be read in under a minute without spoilers.)