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Back to Black

Friday 12th April 2024

Amy Winehouse

Any film, or book, or article for that matter about Amy will never please the masses. This film seems to be the same. The reviews wildly swing between one and five stars. It’s not a bad film, it’s not an epic one either. Succinctly, if you love Amy, her music, the person and what she brought to this world in her 27 years then really I can only encourage you to see it. You’ll know the backstory and this can be kept in mind throughout the watch. Sure, she liked a drink and a dabble in substances of ill repute, but Amy was a strong woman, even to the bitter end. She knew what she wanted and mostly got, but the falls were immense. We’ll never know the true story, only Amy knew that. The Dads, the Blakes of this world fabricate as to what suits/suited them, and as for the press, I’ll forget about them. I’m sure her Nan would have given her the occasional shoulder and things may have turned out better. Amy really loved her Nan. We’ll never know now.

Marisa Abela, in my opinion, embraces the essence of the star. Always a hard one to do, and one that will never be ‘right’, but very believable and hugely empathetic. Blake is more of a loveable rogue. But woven throughout is the love that Amy brought, both emotional and physical. She never did anything by halves, and it’s this aspect I take away from this film. Some of the hard facts, the sharp edges of her life have been smoothed over, but the clues are there. Like I say most, if not all, who go to watch will know the salient details. Apply these to fill. I particularly didn’t want to watch the sordid details. Back to Black is a perfect portrayal and lovingly positioned. If you want to salivate over the sordidness, the “who’s fault was it?”, the music, the videos, the making of this seminal album, then look elsewhere, they’re all out there.

Amy will continue to be bankable and her enigma will grow with time. As the true facts, and those harbouring them fade, this will ultimately generate and feed. Sam Taylor Johnson directs with a care and duty and is not far from the celluloid we watch. A fabulous job. Is Love really A Losing Game? Watch this film, make up your own mind.

Trev Turley

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