Amy Movie Review
An intoxicating documentary thanks largely to its intoxicating--and intoxicated--subject, Amy explores the short life of the talented Amy Winehouse.
The documentary, directed by Asif Kapadia (director of the excellent doc Senna), takes a straightforward approach, starting with Winehouse's beginnings, her rise to stardom and her fast and furious fall as she succumbed to drug and alcohol addictions and eating disorders at the age of 27. With a running time of 128 minutes, Amy's only real fault is that it feels a bit long, especially given that most people interested in the film probably know the highlights (and lowlights) of the Grammy winner's career.
Peppered with Winehouse's unique and soulful music, Amy winds through her life in both slow motion and like a hurricane, fitting given how short her life and career were and how chaotic her final years were. Kapadia hits upon the major players in her life--both those who tried to save her and those who more or less led to her demise--but rarely dwells too long on any of them. She leans more heavily on footage of Winehouse and interviews with her friends, family and business associates.
The result is a beautifully edited, engaging documentary that offers a fresh reminder of the cost of stardom--and how one woman in particular was pushed far beyond her comfort zone and paid the ultimate price.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.