Amy will be hitting theaters soon and will depict Amy Winehouse’s meteoric rise to fame and devastating decline until her untimely death from alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011. A recently released trailer has shown that the film will be both heartbreaking and surprisingly funny for audiences.
In the clip, Winehouse is heard saying: “I don’t think I’m gonna be at all famous. I don’t think I could handle it, I would probably go mad.” The film provides a glimpse, through home videos shared by the British singer’s friends and family, into her real life and the results are, reportedly, surprising.
Rather than seeing the persona that she presented to the rest of the world, the documentary will open with a 14-year-old Winehouse stealing the show with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” and will continue to show fans how bright-eyed, carefree and lighthearted she was away from the stage.
Girl of Many Talents
Director, Asif Kapadia, told ETonline: “She’s funny! That was one of the biggest revelations: nobody knew she was funny. How did we not know? That never came across on stage. She could have been anything she wanted to be. Singing was just one of the many things she could do. You can see her, she’s playing Marilyn Monroe, she’s doing all these things with a lollipop stick as if it’s a cigarette. She just plays this character and you can see it. It was all there. It was perfectly formed at the age of 14. It’s only two years later she was then performing, it’s only three years later she’s having these really intense relationships and making songs out of them, with older men. So you can see already she was a mature girl.”
Sadly, as the film progresses, we will watch Winehouse’s steady downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse. The director said that it was difficult to know where to draw the line between providing an honest depiction of her life and being exploitative. As Kapadia explained: “the issue is, everyone knows how it ended. People know where it’s gonna go. It’s the beginning that is the revelation. The journey is what this film’s about.”
Tony Bennett Soundtrack
Music legend, Tony Bennett, agreed to appear in the documentary as he played a vital role in her career. She saw him as a hero and, ultimately, it was he who announced her name as a Grammy Award winner. Of the relationship, Kapadia said: “He really cared for her and he really tried [to help her]. There were a lot of people quietly who tried to help Amy. The problem is, maybe by the time Tony was trying to help her, it’s like she’d gone so far down this journey that she almost was refusing to be helped.” Despite the fact that Bennett felt that she ranked up there “with the very best singers,” she struggled with self-confidence and low self-esteem.
The documentary does highlight, however, just how great Winehouse truly was at singing and songwriting as the soundtrack is said to be incredible. Kapadia explained: “The songs almost came first. We had the songs, we knew the lyrics, we knew that they said certain things and actually it was like a detective having to unravel, ‘What is this song actually about? Who is this person she’s talking about?'”
“It’s not a series of album version of the song [in the doc], it’s actually the moment that she records ‘Back to Black’ that we found,” said Kapadia. “It’s so powerful having her voice a cappella singing, and she’s actually reading the lyrics cause she’s not really learned them — she’s still learning her own lyrics. There’s a lot of really beautiful moments that come out of the true, honest moment of her being creative at that point in time.”
The documentary sounds like a beautiful tribute to a fallen star. Amy opens in theaters on July 10, 2015.