Back to Black - Amy's Turn at the Biopic Treatment

Back to Black - Amy's Turn at the Biopic Treatment

Written by Zoe Crombie

Even the least frequent cinemagoers can tell you that biopics about popular musicians have represented a huge trend in moviemaking over the past few years. Though far from the first, the floodgates seemed to open with 2018’s smash hit Bohemian Rhapsody, followed in short order by Judy, Rocketman, and Elvis; all Oscars darlings. But one of the elements these films typically have in common is that their subjects are at a comfortable distance, firmly tied to decades that, at the very least, have a 19 preceding them.

Enter Back to Black, a biopic that touches a somewhat rawer nerve in depicting the relatively recent life and death of the irrepressible Amy Winehouse. In contrast to artists like Freddie and Elvis who have been distilled into icons through a select few images and performances, Amy’s endless presence in tabloids and TV interviews is still very much in the memory of most viewers, and makes the film all the more rattling. Brought to life by Marisa Abela, who does an impressive job of capturing a truly unique performer, Amy’s story is one that will have you questioning the establishments that destroyed her – as any viewers of 2015’s excellent Amy documentary can tell you.

Directed by Sam Taylor Johnson, the creator behind the John Lennon drama Nowhere Boy, there’s a certain pedigree behind Back to Black, though that hasn’t stopped controversy from emerging around it – fitting for one of the most forceful figures in music history.

Back to Black runs from 3rd - 12th May

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