Review of Back to Black – a biopic of Amy Winehouse powered by an exceptional performance by the pioneer | Back to black – Entertainment News (Trending Perfect)


TThe last time Sam Taylor-Johnson directed a movie about drugs was 2019's A Million Little Pieces, based on James Frey's pseudo-memoir about addiction — and the last time she made a movie about a music legend was 2009's Nowhere Boy, about John Lennon.

Now she brings the two together in her best work yet: an urgent, warm, heartfelt drama, written by Matt Greenhalgh, about the life of Amy Winehouse, the brilliant London soul singer who died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 in 2011. It's a film that's simple, even With the naivety that characterizes fan tributes. But there's a thoroughly engaging and suave performance from Marissa Abella as Amy – although she arguably does away with the rougher aspects. The only time Abella is less convincing is when she has to get into a fight in the streets of Camden, North London.

And Jack O'Connell is a charismatic and powerful presence as her bad-tempered husband and addiction motivator Blake Fielder-Civil. O'Connell can't help but be intelligent and capable of screen presence and make Blake more sympathetic and less crass than he appeared in real life – and yet part of the (plausible) point of the film is that he was a human being afraid that Emmy would leave him for another celebrity, and that the media images would Misleading.

There's a lovely, if slightly saccharine, scene in which the alcoholic Blake first meets Amy at The Good Mixer pub in Camden Town (already famous for its association with 90s great Britannia and Blur) – replete with his horse-racing winnings and joy. He's unfazed when the already dazzling Amy challenges him to a game of pool while he rudely allows her (and us) to assume he doesn't know who she is. But of course he does and even surpasses her in musical knowledge by forcing her to admit that she has never heard or heard of the group's leader of the Shangri-Las, which he places on the music box and acts out extravagantly. There is a growing sadness as they realize that this joyful first encounter is the first and last time they will be truly happy together.

Marissa Abella and Jack O'Connell as Amy and Blake in Back to Black. Photography: Landmark Media/Alamy

Any film about Winehouse would probably suffer in comparison to director Asif Kapadia's brilliant archival mosaic documentary. Amy From 2015, which saved the woman herself and also gave a clearer idea of ​​her musical demands and professionalism, far from the tabloid caricature of non-stop drugs. But this film attempts to sense the role that romance played in Amy Winehouse's life and the narrative of unhappiness it created in her work: a fountain of toxic inspiration.

Taylor-Johnson's film is also more sympathetic to Winehouse's father, Mitch, the estranged taxi driver with Amy's mother who returns to her life to help manage her career and advises her against going to rehab.

Eddie Marsan and Lesley Manville in Back to Black. Photography: Landmark Media/Alamy

Mitch looks best here because he's played with rising charm and schmaltz by Eddie Marsan – very funny in the scene where he incurs Amy's ire by showing up at an important meeting and siding with the record industry executives against her. In fact, I wonder if it would be possible to make an equally good movie called “Mitch” about that complex and lonely character.

Back to Black is essentially a gentle, tolerant film, and there are other, tougher, bleaker ways of putting Winehouse's life on screen – but Abella conveys her tenderness, perhaps the most poignancy of all her youth, making a clear contrast with that difficult image and mature voice. scary.



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