Each day delivers more obvious clues that the first movie about the life of Amy Jade Winehouse is close at hand. Many folks disagree with my views on the matter and I respect their right to do so. My views are as follows.
Note To The Moviemakers:
Production teams should consider themselves on constructive notice that any film which seeks to profit by unfairly exploiting AJW – or by reinforcing the false narrative that has been constructed by the corrupt media – will not succeed at the box office. If Amy fans become aware that the filmmakers have – to any degree – failed to regard this simple and good-faith advisory, such fans will work fulltime to assure that the resulting film fails and that those funding it lose their investments. Amy was bashed and trashed quite enough in life; fans will not tolerate a “hater bait” movie, now that she has left the stage.
If the filmmakers decide that a movie sympathetically and sensitively exalting a great artist suffering from a dreaded disease is not “sexy enough” to create adequate profits, they should simply abandon the project. While she was alive, Amy’s fans were foolishly silent during an evil media’s assault on her decent and sensitive character; they will not make the same mistake in her absence. A respectful representation is expected and nothing less will be acceptable.
All elements of “disease chauvinism” must either be excluded from the project, OR they must be exposed as the deadly “blame the victim” elements that they actually are. Civilized folks don’t hate sick folks and they don’t tolerate those who do so. If the prospective makers of any Amy movie do not yet fully grasp this concept, they must employ competent medical professionals to consult in the matter.
Amy’s story is not about the symptoms of the disease that afflicted her; it is about her artistic accomplishments and her constant search for friendship and unbreakable trust. Her story is that she knew she should be her own best friend, but was unable to do so. She searched for, experimented with, and gambled on the non-career puzzle piece that would have completed her. Try as she did, that missing piece long eluded her and when it was finally within her grasp, a vile disease cheated her of the prize.
Amy’s fans – currently heartbroken and in great despair – expect a fair, balanced and positive message to be conveyed in any AJW biopic. They will support nothing less.
Note To Amy Fans:
If we want our opinions taken seriously in the process that will lead the first Amy film to the screen, we will have to partially cede “ownership” of Amy. Now, “our girl” belongs to the ages; we can influence the maintenance of her legend, but we cannot “own” that legend.
Our constructive input is entirely indispensable, but we will squander the opportunity to render it if at every turn we simply shout, “No, No, No!” We must help guide the process by respectfully influencing and educating the artists and business people involved in the project. That is the path to assuring that the movie is the best that it can be.
The filmmakers have a clear self-interest in seeking both preproduction and postproduction input from Amy’s fans. Intransigent fans can thwart that interest, but the result will be the release of a movie that will not make a satisfactory contribution to preserving the legend and promoting the legacy of its subject.
Hopefully, most fans will decide to act prudently and speak frankly and constructively about their hopes, goals and wishes for an appropriate and successful film. To do any less in the face of inevitability would, in my view, be a betrayal of the obligations we have to AJW.
Note Regarding The Lead Player:
Many fans are worried that “nobody” can adequately represent Amy’s “essence” in a biopic. Those worries are largely misplaced. Film remains a medium of writers and directors. Given the right script and a skilled director, Amy’s “essence” will appear on the screen; regardless of the lead player selected.
A large number of actors have been contemplated for the role. Among the leading contenders have been Lea Michele and Stefani Germanotta. Some prominent notice has also gone to actor/singer/comic Dana DeLorenzo.
Lea Michele is a highly-skilled actor and she is one of the most talented vocalists that Broadway has produced in decades. In films subsequent to the first one, Lea will be an ideal choice to portray Amy and there is no doubt that she is super-qualified to get the job done.
Dana DeLorenzo is also multi-talented. While some have expressed concern that her past “parody” performances might interfere with her ability to take dramatic direction in the role, I totally disagree. She is an experienced actor, understands how to meet a director’s and writer’s expectations, and might well bring a fresh and fun perspective to subsequent Amy movies.
In the first “big budget” theatrical movie, Stefani Germanotta is both the logical and best choice to portray AJW. Her demographics are both homogeneous and additive; she reinforces Amy’s natural box-office base and she substantially expands that base in demos where AJW has historically lacked support. SG’s participation will attract existing Amy fans and draw a massive crossover audience to the project.
Stefani has very high-end vocal skills and her acting abilities will be expanded in the hands of a sensitive and experienced director. In the search for Amy’s “essence,” there is no more trustworthy vessel than Stefani. Her respect for Amy is well known and she bears an understanding of AJW’s circumstance that few other candidates possess.
Sometimes, a sporting coach will allow a “player to play” just because that player “wants it more” than any other team member. In making the choice of Amy’s onscreen representative, the shot-callers should understand that nobody wants this role more than Stefani Germanotta does. Stefani – aka Lady Gaga – is the correct pick.
Notes On The Money:
Moviemaking is ONLY about an effort to make money for its participants. If they make good movies, they make good money; if their movies are junk, they lose money. Moviemakers risk large fortunes to earn their profits and they are entitled to apportion those earnings as they choose.
In the instant circumstance, it is wholly in the interest of the film creators to be extremely generous with the primary beneficiary of AJW’s legacy: The Amy Winehouse Foundation. Such generosity will help garner great support for the movie.
At both the front-end and backend of the project, ALL participants should be as generous as they possibly can in their dealings with the AWF. Any sense to the contrary perceived by Amy fans would be a severe and destructive impediment to the film’s success.
The first movie may or may not be the “best one.” As time passes, other film projects will present and new players will have their chance to add to the legend-preserving and legacy-building of our JadeMermaid Princess.
I respectfully request that Amy’s fans approach this film project with a combination of optimism and realism. We want a great movie and Amy deserves no less. Let’s act both reasonably and prudently to help assure a positive outcome for all concerned. Thanks!