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Back To Black

Opening Date
11 Apr 2024
M18 Sexual Scene and Some Drug Use
123 mins
English - subtitles to be advised
Biography, Drama, Music
Sam Taylor-Johnson
Marisa Abela, Eddie Marsan, Jack O'Connell
The life and music of Amy Winehouse, through the journey of adolescence to adulthood and the creation of one of the best-selling albums of our time.
By InCinemas  10 Apr 2024
Amy's life through rose-coloured glasses.
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13 years after the tragic loss of the iconic jazz singer Amy Winehouse comes a biographical drama on her life and career. The film, Back to Black, shares the same name of her award-winning album that was predominantly based on her tumultuous relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil and explores themes of guilt, grief, infidelity, heartbreak and trauma in a relationship.

Almost nearly a decade ago, a critically-acclaimed insightful documentary on Amy Winehouse was released. It was near perfect and doesn’t call for yet another reminder that the talented singer-songwriter is no longer with us. Back to Black doesn’t offer any new insight to Winehouse’s life the documentary didn’t already show but director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s careful execution and celebration of Amy’s life is a forgiving watch.

English actress Marisa Abela plays Amy alongside Jack O’Connell as Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan as Amy’s father Mitch, and Lesley Manville as Amy's grandmother Cynthia.

It almost feels too soon and surreal to relive Amy’s story but it’s refreshing to see focus on her life not told through sensationalist tabloids. Admittedly, having lived in the time papparazzi won’t leave her alone, my freshest memory of Amy is nothing short of negativity. Taylor-Johnson’s decision to put focus on the late singer’s trajectory to success and not overdo on her eventual downfall allows viewers to remember the good rather than bad. 

Amy’s unconventional beauty and unique voice are one of a kind but Abela’s gradual embodiment eventually makes her a believable choice to portray the icon. Critics can sit down from overanalysing the singing here, it’s respectful enough on the young actress’ part to tackle the role and attempt to sound as close to Amy as possible.

Back to Black may not offer anything new but it reinforces conversation on a talent gone too soon.
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