May 20, 2024

Back to Black 2024 Movie Review

Back to Black
Spread the love

Back to Black 2024 Movie Review

Sam Taylor-Johnson has produced a fine movie of the self-destructive, short life of singer Amy Winehouse; not easy subject material and still raw for many people of a wonderful talent, lost so young. We seem to be in an age of Biopics which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The quality, direction and screenwriting is patchy, to say the least. Some are frankly awful.

Back To Black takes a median position in amongst the plethora of recent biopics which is to its credit considering this is no way a high financed, major international production. In fact, its very Englishness, indeed its London working-class parochialism gives it its characteristic charm and personality.

We open with Amy (Marissa Abela) as a teenage singer – songwriter working the local pubs and trying to break into the music business, searching for a record deal and making it clear she’s different, ‘I ain’t no Spice Girl’ she tells a potential Agent. Her upbringing from a working-class Jewish family singing Jazz songs around the dinner table, her own eclectic musical tastes and style set her up as a unique talent during a period of shallowness in the British musical scene. She was always head and shoulders above the opposition – a superb talent with a monumental future ahead of her.

Despite family advice from her father, Mitch (Eddie Marsan) and Grandmother Cynthia (Lesley Manville) Amy, always a rebel, sets out on her tragic journey to destruction. Alcohol and an unfortunate penchant for choosing the wrong partner play their terrible part in her short life. I’m not sure just how significant was her relationship and marriage to Blake (Jack O’Connell) in her demise – other factors including the Media and the lack of a decent management team probably played out their role, but sadly it’s a story we are all too familiar with in the Pop/Rock world – Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison, Moon and even Presley travelled the same road as Amy.

The movie is saved from just another pop-biopic by its portrayal of Amy Winehouse as a teenager with remarkable talent growing up in a working -class community in North London with some credit going to Abela for what was a difficult part to play. It has a feel at times of Biopics of the Beatles’ early days in Liverpool. What comes across is a likeable, pretty, talented and funny teenager looking forward to a full life. A life that was not to be.

Back to Black 2024 Movie Review