Back to Black
Back to Black (image - Studio Canal)

Movie Review | Back to Black in cinemas today

Back to Black charts Winehouse’s vibrant years living in London and her intense journey to fame. Taylor-Johnson directs break-out star Marisa Abela (Industry) as music icon Amy Winehouse.

A movie about the truly trapped soul and song bird embodied by Amy Winehouse encapsulated the theatre with the same zeal that she did for her short but impactful career. 

The film however, left more questions than insight into the life outside of the public eye and how she turned into the tortured star that she was. 

What it lacked in origin story and news outside of the tabloids of the late Winehouse, it made up for in showcasing the dedication of her father and family. 

It also displayed the illness of alcoholism and addiction, and the effect on those who loved and were loved by Amy. 

The film left a lot to the imagination, at times leaving gaping holes in its plot and build. It showcased Amy’s rise to stardom as seemingly instant and with ease, lacking much context, with its crescendo ultimately being the late singers demise.

The cinematography of the film gave great insight into the differing perspectives of the public eye, and Amy’s personal experience.

It swaps jarringly between the onlooker view and Amy’s point of view. 

You truly feel dizzy when she is drunk, and dazed when she is on a high. This gave an enlightening angle of the artist’s struggle, but still failed to give context to the struggle itself.

About the Movie

Supporting Abela are BAFTA-winning actor Jack O’Connell as Blake Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan as Mitch Winehouse, Juliet Cowan as Janis Winehouse and Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated Lesley Manville as Amy’s grandmother, Cynthia. 

Featuring many of Amy’s hit songs recorded and performed in the film by Marisa Abela, BACK TO BLACK is made with the full support of Universal Music Group and SONY Music Publishing.

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson comments Nick and Warren were the only musicians in my mind to score BACK TO BLACK. Over the years I’ve listened to everything they’ve composed and longed to realize the dream of working together.  Their sensibility as well as understanding of this story has led to a profoundly deep and moving film score.”

BACK TO BLACK is written by Matt Greenhalgh (Nowhere Boy, Control), while Giles Martin (Rocketman, The Beatles: Get Back) handles music production and Nina Gold (1917, The Power of the Dog) leads the casting of the film.

BACK TO BLACK is produced by Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks, Me Before You, Elizabeth) andDebra Hayward (Les Miserables, Bridget Jones’s Baby) of Monumental Pictures alongside Nicky Kentish-Barnes (About Time, Everest, About A Boy). Sam Taylor-Johnson is executive producer, alongside STUDIOCANAL CEO Anna Marsh,  Ron Halpern and Joe Naftalin who executive produce on behalf of STUDIOCANAL.    

Cave and Ellis’ creative chemistry is rooted in their long history of music making, both as collaborators and as individual artists. They first crossed paths in 1993, when Ellis played violin on several songs for the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album, Let Love In, before going on to join the band as a full time member for the following ten albums to the present day.

The two have also recorded as Grinderman, formed in 2006, and have composed and recorded numerous, film, TV and theatre soundtracks together including The Proposition, Lawless, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Road, Blonde, Dahmer and many more.


I wanted to make a film from Amy’s perspective, through her eyes. The only place where her truth could be found was in her lyrics and music.

I decided to tell her story through her own words, from the songs that she wrote, the songs where she poured out her soul. She sung of her love, her pain, her disappointment, all infused with deep emotion and often savagely sharp humour. Back To Black won 5 Grammys and sold over 16 million copies, and it is the framework for my film.

Amy’s heartbeat, louder with every heartbreak, every song is a devotional outpouring of her love story between her and Blake. This is a love story, it is also a love letter to her, and it is told in her voice, her words and



Aaron: 5 / 10 “You truly feel dizzy when she is drunk, and dazed when she is on a high

Zak: 6 / 10 “I didn’t know much about Amy Winehouse, but now I have more questions”





Back to Black – now screening in cinemas across Australia


Cinema Experience:

The preview screening at Events Cinema in Innaloo, Western Australia, provided another mixed experience. The cinema itself and the comfortable nature of the chairs was a highlight. However, what happened to ‘hot popcorn’ – it was at room temperature.

Back to Black
Back to Black (image – Studio Canal)

Link to Studio Canal HERE

TV Central Movie section HERE

Press ESC to close

Quick Links:    All News   –   Podcast   –   Streaming