Amy Winehouse is a beloved and controversial star in the music world. Her albums have sold over 23 million copies, according to ChartMasters.

An upcoming biopic about her life is set to be released on May 17. It is rated R for drug use, swearing and sexual content, per IMDb.

The movie is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, known for directing the first installment in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movies.

The movie is written by Matt Greenhalgh, who previously worked with Taylor-Johnson on “Nowhere Boy.”

Marisa Abela, known for the HBO series “Industry,” will be appearing in the role of Amy Winehouse, and Jack O’Connell, known for “Unbroken,” will be in the role of her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

What is the new movie ‘Back to Black’ about?

Per Focus Features, the movie is “Told through Amy’s eyes and inspired by her deeply personal lyrics, the film explores and embraces the many layers of the iconic artist and the tumultuous love story at the center of one of the most legendary albums of all time.”

Winehouse’s relationship with her ex-husband Fielder-Civil was often a topic of scrutiny by the press, according to BBC, but Taylor-Johnson seeks to show how the true villains at the heart of this story were the “paparazzi and addiction.”

Fielder-Civil is often the sole person maligned for her death in 2011 due to alcohol poisoning, according to Independent.

While he takes responsibility for his role in her drug habits, in an interview with “Good Morning Britain,” Fielder-Civil said, “I’ve needed to stop carrying that cross on my own. I’ve carried that burden myself for over 10 years. I feel, to be honest, that I’m the only person within that story that’s ever held any accountability, that’s ever tried to say, ‘Yep, I made some huge mistakes.’”

Should Amy Winehouse’s story be told?

Winehouse’s story was the subject of a 2015 documentary called “Amy.”

The documentary received favorable reviews, with a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 96%. According to the BBC, fans of Winehouse are worried that the “Back to Black” movie may sensationalize her more tragic moments.

Per The New York Times, Winehouse’s friend Tyler James claimed the movie “sugarcoated” Winehouse’s story, but Fielder-Civil expressed he felt the film was “almost therapeutic.”

Comparing the “Amy” documentary to the “Back to Black” movie, Vanity Fair said, “It seems that a softer, more neatly packaged retelling of Winehouse’s life was desired by some.”

A more favorable review by the San Francisco Chronicle said the movie was a “satisfying biopic.” They specifically mentioned Abela’s “staggering performance” as Winehouse, who does all of her own singing in the film rather than lip-synching.

What are the best Amy Winehouse songs?

‘Back to Black’

“Back to Black,” for which the album and the movie are named, is inarguably Winehouse’s most popular song. It has over 1 billion views on YouTube and was ranked No. 98 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 best songs of the 2000s.

‘Love is a Losing Game’

In a live performance in 2006, Winehouse said about this song, “This is my favorite song from the new album. I always get a little teary when I play it.” The song explores the pain that comes with a relationship coming to an end.


This song won three Grammy awards for record of the year, song of the yea, and best female pop vocal performance. According to Genius, while this song is one of her most popular, fans were concerned with the message of avoiding rehab while struggling with addiction.