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Amy Winehouse: Going Back to Black

Amy Winehouse: Going Back to Black

Photographed by Cassidy Palmateer of Aubrie Card
Styled by Jack Turpen

By Jeanie Gould'mcelhone

The impact that Amy Winehouse had on the music industry cannot be undersold. Her unique take on jazz music, melded with modern pop music, skyrocketed her to stardom. As many may know, the Amy Winehouse biopic is finally under motion. Though many long-time Amy Winehouse fans are excited to see her life story being played out on the big screen, many think that her legacy should be left untouched. As her story has been viewed as quite tragic, many believe the truth of her story will be bent, providing an image that is not accurate to the reality of her challenges. Lots of “biopics” in the past have not done the person's story justice. Some examples include the current Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, which was viewed as exploitative and factually incorrect. Nonetheless, as of January 16, filming on the upcoming movie Back to Black has begun.

The film is expected to capture all of her early years in Camden, rise to fame in London jazz clubs, Grammy wins, and even the debilitating effects of unfavorable media coverage. Winehouse's long-term battle with substance abuse, which finally claimed her life in 2011, is expected to be shown in the film. Though, this leaves viewers to wonder if the producers will choose to show her part in the infamous “twenty-seven club”; a list of stars who all passed by age twenty-seven.

This coming July will mark twelve years since Amy Winehouse’s passing. As her name continues to live on through her loyal friends, and due to her untimely death, many feel as though the film is unnecessary and unneeded.

Marisa Abela is set to star as Amy Winehouse and has already been spotted sporting Winehouse’s iconic eyeliner and beehive styled hair. This will be a breakout role for the young actress, as she has had previous roles in shows like Industry and COBRA. The film is said to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson alongside writer Matt Greenlagh. The two previously worked together on a biopic on John Lennon from The Beatles titled Nowhere Boy. The biopics of famous musicians are something Taylor-Johnson and Greenlagh are passionate about creating. Audiences just hope that Taylor-Johnson is not using this story as a cash-grab.

The movie is already surrounded by a great deal of controversy, as some fans believe that it is too soon to make a biopic which will dramatize her life and death. Some critics have also taken issue with the lack of resemblance between Winehouse and Abela. Given how she was let down by many, and the overarching heartbreak of her story, we are left to wonder what the entertainment value will be. Will this movie cause more harm than good? Will it let the star rest without her traumas being exploited for the screen? The release date of Back to Black is not known yet, but audiences should not expect a trailer until later this year.

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