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Amy Winehouse biopic clip receives brutal reactions online as viewers criticise ‘cheap’ production

A new clip from the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black has drawn widespread derision online, with viewers criticising the film’s production values.

“Could the Amy Winehouse movie actually be worse than Bohemian Rhapsody?” asked one viewer on X/Twitter. “(realistically, I think it is unlikely, but it looks so damn cheap)”.

Another critic added: “Sucks they gave Amy Winehouse a biopic with eastenders production values”.

The film, which is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, is set to be released on 17 May.

Other viewers of the clip, which was first posted on TikTok, highlighted the difference between Winehouse’s original recordings and star Marisa Abela’s singing., with one writing on X/Twitter: “This is the worst Karaoke I’ve ever seen. Scrap it, just scrap it”.

Another commented: “Amy was an amazing singer this tarnishes her legacy”.

While a third added: “Get a bit more ragin everytime I see a new trailer for that Amy Winehouse film… who they’ve cast as Amy is beyond shocking. Might be a good actress don’t know but looks and sounds nothhhhing like her. Will still see it tho but it’s an injustice”.

Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in ‘Back to Black’ (Focus Features)
Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in ‘Back to Black’ (Focus Features)

Many fans on social media questioned why the film didn’t use recordings of Winehouse’s actual singing, but this idea was dismissed by Abela during a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.

After Ross complimented Abela on her vocal talents, she revealed: “I don’t think anyone even asked me in the audition process if I could sing! I knew Sam and I felt the same way that whoever was going to play this part needed to be Amy from the inside out.

“For me when I got the job I wanted to learn to sing as much as I could because this was her chosen medium - this is her artform, this is how she expressed herself. It felt so odd to do all of this work and then come to open my mouth to sing and cut to a studio recording. I trained really hard, I trained for two hours a day for four months.”

Speaking more generally about the challenge of taking on the role of Winehouse, Abela said: “It was definitely nerve-wracking. You have to take that fear and use it as a driving factor in your preparation. I wanted to use that energy that I had. It’s an element of responsibility that you feel. I took that responsibility and I worked pretty hard.

“You have to do a lot of work to make her physically recognisable as the person that everyone knows. There’s that other side, the person, the human, the woman behind the music and also what we think we know about her - I think that was the most important thing to me.”

On the same show, Taylor-Johnson discussed her reasons for casting Abela and addressed rumours her husband is set to play James Bond.