The forthcoming documentary chronicling the short and tragic life of Amy Winehouse has been fraught with controversy.
Her family has backed away from the project, claiming it paints them in a negative light and doesn’t tell the real story of her life. But critics seem to all agree that the movie doesn’t let anyone off the hook. The film, titled Amy, was directed by Asif Kapadia, and it highlights the highs and lows in the “Rehab” singer’s life.
Recently, a clip from the film was released, and it is beautiful and chilling.
This, which is the opening scene, is poignant and certainly helps lay the groundwork for the raw and visceral movie that will follow. The short video shows a 14-year-old, round-faced, scrunchie clad-wearing Winehouse goofing off with a couple of friends and celebrating one of the young girls’ birthdays.
When the group begins singing “Happy Birthday,” it is Winehouse’s powerful voice that quickly and not surprisingly takes center stage. Her friends’ voices fade, leaving only Amy singing and everyone else speechless. The grainy, dark, barely 50-second clip ends just as it seems to be beginning, leaving you awestruck and wanting to hear more of Winehouse’s voice.
In such a short clip, you can see all the pieces already in place. Her voice, astounding. The way she holds the lollipop like a cigarette, the shoulder shrug, she’s acting, playing a character, and she’s nailing it. At age 14, she appears to be already grown. At age 14, she had already clicked all those pieces together.
But, of course, we know that’s not how the story ends, and that may even have been her undoing. Winehouse was only 27 years old when she died in 2011 from alcohol poisoning after a long battle with substance abuse.
The movie Amy comes out on July 10.