Rated: R for language and drug material. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: July 3, 2015 Released by: A24 Films
A new probing, protracted documentary is genuinely honest and heartfelt in a tragic, controversial portrait around the music industry.
In a hardly ground-breaking, but very sensitively drawn Amy, a sense of fair-mindedness of the soulful sounding Amy Winehouse permeates its ill-fated subject from the years (rise and fall) of 16 to 27 with a stark conclusion of lethal alcohol poisoning. Asif Kapadia (Senna) again captivates from behind the camera with eye-opening, evocative keenness. Talking heads are relegated to being heard over archival Winehouse clips with some aerial shots (via drone cameras) off-putting.
Yet, an increasingly prescient, precocious talent signs a record deal and later singing in front of a record producer displays the ennui of woman will beyond her years who would struggle with bulimia. The hindsight around Amy's performances has an eerie pathos with lyrics appearing on the frame. Love Is Blind is tenderly rendered with humor as she works to reverse a personality trait dealing with instances to locate a true, fulfilling identity from an amorous relationship. Her life definitely appears quite multifaceted by the time she's becoming an older adolescent before the drinking age.
Her calamitous nature "has grown a mile wide" with an exponential growth of global renown as two men in her life, father Mitch (who had an affair not long after Amy's birth) and close beau Blake Fielder, more into their own solipsistic (cash-cow) ways subject to manner in which "Amy" has been edited (with Mitch irate in the filmmaking approach). When his daughter tries to avoid paparazzi in North London, Mitch ends up with a camera crew in St. Lucia with little sanctuary for someone used for her pronounced prominence. And, feeling that his daughter isn't in need of detox treatment
Still, Kapadia locates the musical singularity of a life cut short with mundane, raw candor that is disarming with the incipient distressing destiny. One that is caustically revealing around a pestering Blake wanting a new rendition of her memorable "Rehab" and more so later on when her lover is filming when both are in a required regimen and Amy's reaction to being there.