Oscar Contenders: “Amy" The Brief Existence of A Shining Star

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Amy celebrates the brief life of one of the greatest voices of Jazz and Soul ever heard, Amy Winehouse. Truthful to her rebel spirit, Amy is a colossal piece of filmmaking - genuinely good and a secure Oscar contender.

 


Her wild and sophisticated image, in addition to the dazzling public fame contrast with her innocence and vulnerability shown in the movie.

The linear documentary is honest, done with good taste, and sense of respect for the late singer's image. 

The beauty of Amy lies in the immense and well assembled amount of private and public material put together by Academy Award nominee director Asif Kapedia (Senna). 

The documentary makes an audacious approach combining the amazing footage with multiple narrators (close friends, boyfriends, agents, bodyguards, a husband, and her last lover), all of them narrate their experience with the Diva, creating a sense of multiplicity, giving a much more deeper meaning to the story. 

By not having a "solo" narrator Amy innovates with a unique style of documentary making, creating more impact.

Impulsive and helpless, Amy's controversy radiates in the elements that made her fall in drugs, alcohol, and malnutrition. 

Her deep vocals and singing style fluctuate between soul, blue-eyes soul, blues, jazz, and reggae. 

Her debut album was "Frank" in 2003.

 


In 2008 she won five Grammys becoming the first female artist with the most wins in a single night holding the Guinness World Record to be the first British female singer ever win five Grammys in one night. 

She couldn't make it to the awards ceremony in L.A. due to a failed drug test. Her level company held a private party in London.

Paradoxically, "Rehab" was one of her biggest hit. Amy's popularity skyrocketed when her private life became tumultuous.

As we see in the film, other elements affected her enormously were: the media turmoil, her husband in jail, foolish parents, her best girlfriend turned her back on her, paparazzi, contracts, presentations, and the pressure of her record company, all of this made her brief life a living hell. 

Was this much to handle when you are on drugs, young, beautiful, and famous?

 

The duet with Tony Bennett, her idol, her inspiration, was very important to her. 

During the recording, she wanted to aspire to perfection, in her own opinion, she couldn't perform well enough. She wanted to escape. Tony was patient, caring, and mesmerized by her powerful voice and told her: "You are the best jazz singer in the world." The song "Body and Soul" is part of the Bennett's album Duets II, was her last recording.

 


Her presentation in Belgrade, June 2011, was a complete disaster, she couldn't put herself together, too drunk to stand still and perform in front of a thousand of disappointed attendees who booed her off the stage.


The way the footage is placed together makes of Amy a pleasant biopic to watch, enjoyable from beginning to end.

Amy majestically flows, frame by frame, as a narrative feature. Amy is mesmerizing, it makes you a witness of the real tragic life of "the little Jewish girl" from North London.  

 

In recent years other groundbreaking documentaries based on singers won the Oscar: Searching for Sugar Man on the subject of the mysterious disappearance of Sixto Rodriguez and 20 Feet from Stardom, about the voices behind the greatest Rock Stars.Those precedents open the possibility for Amy to get the nomination and why not, to lift the statuette at the Awards ceremony in January 2016.
  

Amy holds the all time box office record for a documentary in the U.K. and it has taken America by storm, becoming an independent success. Not only her fans and followers are supporting the movie, also people who like Jazz and Soul, others who appreciate good music or anybody who wants to know more about what really happen in the short life of an enormous singer.

Amy Winehouse we'll miss you greatly, but now we can see you in the movie Amy to our heart's content.

 

Amy The Brief Existence of A Shining Star reprinted with the expressed permission of Jose Alberto Hermosillo and www.festivalinla.com  

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