First Hit: Very well crafted, visually arresting, and a finely produced film of Amy Winehouse’s short lived music career.
Three or four times during the first half-hour of the film I thought to myself, I’m so glad they put the words to the songs Amy was singing on the screen.
There were also occasions when the director used captions when Amy or some others, like Blake, spoke. To me the director did this for two reasons: 1) To show the power of her lyrics without getting caught up in deciphering the words in her musical pacing and 2) Her heavy cockney accent was at times difficult to understand, especially with some of the home filmed segments.
The captions made this film and story more accessible. This film starts with a brief show of her powerful voice when she sings “Happy Birthday”, and ends with her death. In between these two points, we get a deep view and listening to her heavily jazz influenced music stylings.
The film does not hold back on pictures showing Amy as high as a kite, make-up skewed, and holding on to either her ego, self-obsessed father, Mitch, or the love of her life Blake Fielder-Civil. Despite their pronounced lover for Amy, these men appeared to only care about themselves and what they could or would get them (fame, money, drugs, and booze). The people who really cared and loved her by their actions were her childhood girlfriends, Yasin Bey (Mos Def) and a few others.
Tony Bennett’s admiration of her singing ability and support meant so much to Amy. In the end it is a story of someone who misplaced what would really make her happy with the influence and behaviors supported by her hanger’s on.
Asif Kapadia did an outstanding job of putting together, phone video, still photos, and studio level video to create an amazing journey through Amy’s adult life.
Overall: Well done story.