Amy Winehouse Biopic 'Back to Black' Divides Critics

The new Amy Winehouse biopic 'Back to Black' has divided critics, with some praising Marisa Abela's performance but others criticizing the film as exploitative. The family's disapproval and debates over sensitively portraying troubled artists add to the controversy.

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Amy Winehouse Biopic 'Back to Black' Divides Critics

Amy Winehouse Biopic 'Back to Black' Divides Critics

The new Amy Winehouse biopic 'Back to Black' has sharply divided film critics ahead of its UK release. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the film stars Marisa Abela as the late British singer and tracks her meteoric rise to fame and tragic public downfall.

While some reviewers have praised Abela's performance in capturing Winehouse's distinctive voice and mannerisms, others have slammed the film as exploitative and historically inaccurate. Taylor-Johnson has defended the project, stating that it is not exploitative and instead "joyfully honours Amy" through her own words, music, and perspective.

The film has faced backlash from Winehouse's father, Mitch Winehouse, who has publicly condemned it for portraying him in a negative light. Taylor-Johnson said the family was not involved in the making of the film and that she was after the "truth" of Winehouse's life story.

'Back to Black' also depicts Winehouse's turbulent relationship with her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, played by Jack O'Connell. Fielder-Civil has expressed guilt over his role in Winehouse's decline into drug addiction. The film's paparazzi-style visuals used to depict this decline have been criticized by some for reinforcing the media exploitation Winehouse faced in real life.

Why this matters: The divided critical response to 'Back to Black' reflects ongoing debates about how to sensitively and accurately portray the lives of troubled artists on screen. As a high-profile biopic about a beloved musician, the film is likely to generate significant public interest and discussion about Winehouse's life and legacy.

Overall, reviews for 'Back to Black' have been mixed, ranging from one-star pans to four-star praise. While Abela's central performance has been consistently highlighted as a strength, critics remain split on whether the film does justice to the complexity of Winehouse's life and artistry. As Lesley Manville, who plays Winehouse's grandmother in the film, put it: "I don't think it's an easy story to tell."

Key Takeaways

  • New Amy Winehouse biopic 'Back to Black' divides film critics.
  • Marisa Abela praised for capturing Winehouse's voice and mannerisms.
  • Winehouse's father condemns the film for portraying him negatively.
  • Film depicts Winehouse's turbulent relationship with ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil.
  • Divided response reflects debates on sensitively portraying troubled artists' lives.