7.8/10
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Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
Archival footage and personal testimonials present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Director:

Asif Kapadia
Won 1 Oscar. Another 50 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Winehouse ... Herself (archive footage)
Lauren Gilbert Lauren Gilbert ... Herself
Juliette Ashby Juliette Ashby ... Herself
Nick Shymansky Nick Shymansky ... Himself
Tyler James ... Himself
Guy Moot Guy Moot ... Himself
Chris Taylor Chris Taylor ... Himself (archive footage)
Nick Gatfield Nick Gatfield ... Himself
Ian Barter Ian Barter ... Himself (archive footage)
Garry Mulholland Garry Mulholland ... Himself (archive footage)
Jonathan Ross ... Himself (archive footage)
Janis Collins Janis Collins ... Herself (as Janis Winehouse)
Mitch Winehouse ... Himself (as Mitchell Winehouse)
Sam Beste Sam Beste ... Himself
Bobby Womack ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A documentary on the life of Amy Winehouse, the immensely talented yet doomed songstress. We see her from her teen years, where she already showed her singing abilities, to her finding success and then her downward spiral into alcoholism and drugs. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Experience the untold story of the girl behind the name. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 July 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amy See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$222,500, 5 July 2015

Gross USA:

$8,413,144

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,706,049
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First documentary distributed by A24 to be nominated for an Oscar. See more »

Goofs

Amy performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2004. At the time the festival was still in The Hague. (And not -yet- in Rotterdam, as the movie states.) She performed at one of the stages in the basement. See more »

Quotes

Tony Bennett: Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough.
See more »

Connections

Features The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I Heard Love Is Blind
Written by Amy Winehouse
Performed by Amy Winehouse at Island Records, 2003
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

An extraordinary film, one of the most powerful I've seen in years
8 July 2015 | by rick_7See all my reviews

A haunting, heartbreaking and stunningly brilliant film from Senna director Asif Kapadia, which takes us into the confidence of Amy Winehouse, as the bolshy, big-voiced, jazzy Jewish girl from North London becomes a megastar, while her personal demons, her relationship with a drug addict, and a ravenous, amoral press proceed to rip her to shreds.

Thanks to an abundance of revelatory home video footage, soundtracked by incisive interviews, we see her not only as the beehived, cat- eyed chanteuse or the alarmingly ribbed tabloid quarry, tumbling out of a club at 3am, but as a shy, spotty teen with a seductive offhand confidence in her vocal gift.

I'm not an enormous fan of Winehouse's music, I think because her deeply personal writing and distinctive, expressive voice tended to be masked by such contrived, Americanised pastiche – trading first on '30s jazz and then '60s girl groups – but the portrait that emerges here is uncompromising, thrilling and frequently devastating: of an unhappy girl equipped with a massive talent, but none of the stability or serenity to deal with the perpetual media storm that her success brought upon her.

We see stand-ups and TV presenters laughing at her bulimia and drug abuse, her management pushing her out of rehab and onto foreign stages, and – in the second half – a rapacious, vulturous paparazzi incessantly stalking her, an essential decency chillingly absent. If that was my job, I think I would struggle to watch this film and think: "Yes, what I am doing with my life is essentially fine."

By contrast, Kapadia's film is quite beautifully lacking in sensationalism. Though it essentially doubles an indictment of a society almost entirely lacking in basic compassion and empathy, it's a work that possesses both virtues in apparently limitless amounts, surely compressing and simplifying an impossibly complex narrative, but attaining something that seems awfully like the truth – and apparently is, according to her closest friends.

Amy is a tough watch, but it feels essential, not just for its vivid picture of a fascinating, deeply troubled young woman, but also for its wider significance: as a plea for people to stop being so horribly selfish, to stop seeing excess and illness as 'rock and roll' and drug abuse as a joke, and for the media to realise that if it wants to paint itself as a crusading Fifth Estate, then some basic humanity wouldn't go amiss.


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