I came to this movie knowing nothing about Amy Winehouse or her music. So it introduced me to a new character and then chronicled her steady decline under the influences of a father and a lover she had no defences against. What struck me about the story was (paparazzi aside) how unexceptional it was. It’s the fact that all kinds of people all the time find themselves in relationships they can’t cope with or escape and are broken or destroyed in just this way that made it so heartbreaking and ugly for me. Which is a way of saying, I’m not sure that this is a movie about celebrity.
The one positive moment that sticks with me involves Tony Bennet. Commenting on Winehouse’s early death and his confidence that with time she would have pulled things together, he says, roughly, “Over time life teaches you how to live it.” That seems right.