Film Review: BACK TO BLACK (2024): Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Moving Amy Winehouse Biopic Soars Throughout Despite its Flaws SuperNayr

Marisa Abela Back To Black

Back to Black Review

Back to Black (2024) Film Review, a movie directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, written by Matt Greenhalgh and starring Marisa Abela, Eddie Marsan, Jack O’Connell, Lesley Manville, Juliet Cowan, Sam Buchanan, Pete Lee-Wilson, Michael S. Siegel, Anna Darvas, Ryan O’Doherty, Spike Fearn and Harley Bird.

The Amy Winehouse of the opening scenes of director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s entertaining biopic, Back to Black, is not like the one that appears in the last sequences of the film. The Amy we first meet is upbeat, enthusiastic and charming. Not that the later Amy wasn’t those things but love, alas, tore her heart out. Well, love alongside drugs and alcohol. Amy became a wreck and the movie ably captures her transformation from wide-eyed and full of hope to full of sorrow and despair. Taylor-Johnson’s film is so well-crafted that you could get lost in its story and feel a sense of closeness to the English music sensation, Amy, even though she seems to have kept herself at a distance from many people throughout her career.

A terrific scene in Back to Black has a young girl named Abby asking Amy (remarkably played by Marisa Abela) for her autograph. Amy is more than happy to oblige even though when another, older female fan wanted to get a picture of her earlier on in the film, Amy was pretty blunt and disrespectful towards her. Amy was a woman in love with a bad boy named Blake (Jack O’Connell). At a pool hall, Blake and Amy first get close and it feels right to her but the audience will not know for sure if they’re a good match at the start. They hit it off even though he appears to have a girlfriend.

In the end, Blake seemed to have not reciprocated the love Amy had for him. In the latter stages of the picture, we see Amy falling apart and it’s a great performance by Abela that makes the viewer truly invested here. In a heart-wrenching moment, Amy Is visiting Blake in jail and he, in turn, tells her he wants to divorce her. By the time the end credits come up, viewers will be devastated that Amy ended up in the predicament she found herself in. Fans of Winehouse will adore the performance by Abela.

In the beginning, Amy sings “Fly Me to the Moon” with an appealing presence that is wholesome and sweet. The later Amy had more toughness within herself and was a little rough around the edges. Her music was brilliant, yet the movie presents Abela as the voice of Amy in the picture rather than employing Amy’s original music and having Abela lip-synch. It’s a wise choice that pays off in the end for both fans of Abela and of Winehouse.

There are a lot of scenes of the paparazzi chasing Amy and, sometimes, they chase her and Blake together. These scenes could feel like overkill at times. When Amy marries Blake and ends up in Miami, her dad, Mitch (Eddie Marsan, never better) is baffled by Amy’s haphazard decision. Amy was full of passionate energy. She seems to have lived way beyond her mid-20’s although she died a few years shy of 30. Her tattoos and tough exterior served her music well and gave it an emotional quality that people who had been scorned could certainly relate to. Amy also sung optimistically and it was a true loss to see her die so young in real-life.

Eddie Marsan is absolutely perfect. When Amy wants to go to rehab, Mitch definitely is in support of her decision. All throughout the movie, Mitch is looking out for Amy’s best interests but she is young and ends up in love and what’s a dad to do in that case? What could he do? The icing on the cake is Cynthia, perhaps the family member Amy had the strongest bond with. As played with sophistication by the wonderful Lesley Manville, Cynthia is a great confidante to Amy and her loss becomes difficult for Amy to bear as the film progresses. Manville never hits a false note in her flawless performance.

Abela makes Amy come to life on-screen. In the beginning, I didn’t think so, though. This Amy in the initial stages seemed too squeaky clean and too much like a goody two-shoes. But, slowly, Abela gets lost in the role and, halfway through and on, it eventually felt like we were watching the real Amy Winehouse. Now, that’s acting, folks.

Back to Black is very absorbing. Of course, the film begs the question: Who wore the beehive hairstyle better: Abela or Cailee Spaeny in Priscilla? While I loved Spaeny’s hairstyle to death in last year’s film, Abela rocks the beehive too, making it almost an even tie. Both ladies excelled at looking exquisite although the artists they portrayed were certainly from different times and two completely different people, to say the least.

If Back to Black suffers from making the story line too conventional at times, it is still emotionally draining to watch. The viewer will want to yell at the screen and tell Amy what to do. In fact, the film could have gone on longer than its two-hour running time. It feels that some parts of Amy’s story were skipped over, for whatever reason.

Jack O’Connell is certainly believable and does a fine job as Blake, the one who Amy couldn’t get enough of. The viewer can see why Amy was so fascinated by him. Overall, Sam Taylor-Johnson creates a very finely tuned biopic here. Marisa Abela has come into stardom with this performance and it will be interesting to see what she does next. Taylor-Johnson’s film ultimately isn’t the marvel of a film Priscilla was, but still. Back to Black remains a movie of great fascination to Winehouse fans who still mourn her loss. She was truly a great asset to the world of music and will never be forgotten.

Rating: 7.5/10

Leave your thoughts on this Back to Black review and the film below in the comments section. Readers seeking to support this type of content can visit our Patreon Page and become one of FilmBook’s patrons. Readers seeking more film reviews can visit our Movie Review Page, our Movie Review Twitter Page, and our Movie Review Facebook Page. Want up-to-the-minute notifications? FilmBook staff members publish articles by Email, Google News, Feedly, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Telegram, Mastodon, Flipboard, and Threads.

Source link

Leave a Comment