Blu-ray Review: Amy

amyblu_STUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Asif Kapadia
RELEASE DATE: 12/1/15 | PRICE: DVD $19.98, Blu-ray $24.99
BONUSES: commentary, additional footage and performances, bonus interviews
SPECS: R | 128 min. | Documentary | 1.85:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | Spanish and English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

Before there was Adele, there was Amy.

In the mid-2000s, Amy Winehouse took the music industry by storm with her unique soulful voice, insightful lyrics and modern take on jazz. Unfortunately, her astonishing musical accomplishments have been overshadowed by her drug-and-alcohol-fueled antics, creating a legacy that has become fodder for stand-up comics and Saturday Night Live sketches.

Thankfully, the powerful, mesmerizing and devastating documentary Amy is here to remind us of her amazing talent and the remarkable impact she made in a relatively short period of time..

A young Amy Winehouse as seen in the documentary Amy.

A young Amy Winehouse as seen in the documentary Amy.

Directed by Asif Kapadia (Senna), Amy offers a chronicle of Winehouse’s life as seen very much through her own eyes, featuring extensive never-before-seen footage (including her own home videos), performance and backstage clips, glimpses at her letters and emails, and telephone voice messages. All of the inspiration, frustration and heartache Winehouse poured into her music is on display, making her music all that more meaningful. Listening to unreleased song recordings and interviews with her family and closest friends (Kapadia reportedly conducted more than 100 interviews to provide a narrative for the footage), viewers get a deeper understanding of Winehouse’s personality–aspects both good and bad–which one never could grasp by solely ingesting tabloid headlines.

The film is an honest portrayal of Winehouse’s life, never turning a blind eye to the events that eventually lead to her untimely death in 2011.  It shines a spotlight on the damaging effects of modern celebrity, led by the ceaseless intrusion of the media machine.

Hopefully, Amy will rattle Winehouse’s sad legacy (or, at least, the one generally considered by the mainstream) and help to elevate her above being simply a punchline. The film confirms that she is, rather, a worthy addition to the pantheon of music powerhouses; truly, Amy Winehouse is one of the greatest voices of her generation.

The DVD and Blu-ray release features audio commentary by the director, previously unseen Winehouse performances, and deleted scenes.


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About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at