Tag Archives: song writer

AMY (2015) – My rating: 8.5/10

AmyAmy Winehouse, a dynamic song writer and jazz and pop singer, found dead from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27, is documented in this sad but clear story of her brief life and career. I’ve formed a strong and definite opinion of Amy’s life and reasons for her early demise. “Amy” was quite painful to watch, especially after reading that her father (Mitch Winehouse) was protesting the film because he felt it made him look bad and also, at times, showed Amy in a bad light. I found his words hard to believe. In the documentary, her mother admitted she was unable to handle Amy with a simple no when needed. The film brilliantly showed times when Amy acted up as a small child, needing guidance and discipline and her mother (Janis Winehouse) giving up and giving in to Amy’s pressure tactics. I would say Amy was one of those special children, overactive, or what we call a “D” child. Hard to control, aggressive and in need of a disciplinarian. I felt watching her story that her parents were ill equipped to handle her. At 16 years old Amy and a friend had their own flat. That says a whole lot right there. As Amy got older and more popular with more responsibilities, she became more withdrawn from adulthood and was handling her life in a way most adolescence without proper training would.  Adding booze, drugs, sex and a “I don’t care” attitude on top of everything just for the fun of it.  Friends and family tried to intervene but she didn’t really want their help.  She was in and out of rehab but she attached to mates who kept her where she didn’t want to be, even marrying Blake Fielder who really aided in bringing her to rock bottom by introducing her to drugs.  She actually served as a gravy train for a few family members who looked out for themselves instead of Amy.  When she started to grow up, it was really too late, she was unable to deal with all the problems she had created for herself which included bulimia, drug addiction, alcoholism and depression.

“Amy”, the documentary, captures the very heart of what she was about, which is an amazing person and a true musical genius.  “Amy” has already won 25 awards and is predicted to win more, including Oscar.  It’s hard to get it out of my head and I am so sorry for this loss.  Amy Winehouse had a gift that put her up there with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan and Tony Bennett, who she made her last album with, in terms of uniqueness and talent as a song writer and singer.  This documentary is worth the time to see — no one is bigger than substance abuse — it will bring you down to your knees!  It’s best not to get started, it’s best to treat it like a venomous snake bite for which there’s no coming back.

[AMY is nominated for Best Documentary Feature]



BEGIN AGAIN (2013) – My rating 8.5/10

BeginAgainBegin Again, for me, is a delightful change of pace.  It’s a sweet and happy story with loads of entertainment.  I really liked this movie about a business executive, Dan (Mark Ruffalo) in the music industry who is down on his luck, causing him to make bad choices and unproductive decisions while trying to maintain his image and job.   Along comes a new song writer and singer, Gretta (Keira Knightley) who is also new to New York City.  Dan hears Gretta singing one of her songs on stage and offers her a chance to record her own album.  After some thought, Gretta decides to take Dan up on his offer.  The story is full of little twist and turns that would be considered spoilers if I revealed them, so I’ll leave them out.  Gretta’s boyfriend, Dave Kohl (Adam Levine) is soaring through the music scene, singing songs she wrote for him, among others.  The music is fantastic and the story is very good.  Gretta also has a brother, Steve (James Corden) who is also in the music business.  He helps her through a rough time — they have a very close relationship that heavily contributes to the upbeat vibe that “Begin Again” gives off.  I liked this movie enough to see it again.  It’s on DVD and has flown way under the radar.  In my opinion, it’s definitely worth your time to see it!

[BEGIN AGAIN is nominated for Music (Original Song)]