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Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black sets for release in cinemas in May 2024

Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black is getting a high-profile release in cinemas across the country on May 10, Focus Features announced Tuesday.  

wWith her sultry mix of soul, R&B and pop, Winehouse is considered one of the greatest singers of the 21st century, despite only having released two studio albums. Winehouse, who had a public battle with substance abuse and mental illness, the singer tragically died July 23, 2011, due to alcohol poisoning. Over her career, she sold more than 30 million records worldwide and won five Grammy awards.  

Back To Black is billed as a “never-before-seen glimpse into Winehouse’s early rise to fame and the release of her groundbreaking studio album.” The movie is told from the singer’s perspective. It takes an intimate look at the “woman behind the phenomenon” and her relationship that inspired one of the most legendary albums ever.  

“Fifty Shades of Grey” filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson directs the movie from a script by Matt Greenhalgh. The two previously collaborated in 2009’s “Nowhere Boy,” a John Lennon biopic starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the young Beatle. Industry breaks out Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse and with her in the lead role are Jack O’Connell (“Ferrari”), Eddie Marsan (“Fair Play”) and Lesley Manville (“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”). 

The film was made with the support of the Amy Winehouse estate, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Publishing – from StudioCanal and Monumental Pictures, production for “Back to Black” began in January.  Within a week of filming, pictures of Marisa Abela and Eddie Marsan in characters as Amy and her father, Mitch Winehouse, made their way on to Twitter.  

The first looks at Back to Black has prompted anger for depicting the late singer as a cartoonish mess with one particularly viral tweet describing the images of Abela, looking cartoonishly distraught in a halloween costume-level approximation of Winehouse’s trademark beehive, as “revolting”: 34,000 likes and 3,500 quote tweets seemed to agree with the sentiment. Is it possible to make a film about an abused artist without repeating history? Often, it feels as if people enjoy biopics because they scratch the same itch as true crime – there seems to be a gory fascination with seeing the pitiful depths of human existence, symptomatic of an entertainment industry that refuses to let the dead rest. It’s hard to judge a film before it’s officially released, but it’s understandable that the set photos touched a nerve. 

We don't currently have a trailer for Back to Black but considering the movie's production status, it shouldn't be long before we get one. We do have a official newly released image from Back to Black showing Marisa Abela in the lead role of Amy Winehouse, with her signature hairdo and eye makeup.

/Alice Sagripanti 

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