Singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse was 27 years old when she died of alcohol poisoning in her home in July 2011.

The new documentary "Amy" shines a light on the events leading up to that tragic day. It's a deeply moving piece of cinema, sad and heartbreaking, that paints an intimate portrait of the troubled Winehouse.

Director Asif Kapadia constructs the film using unseen archival footage and interviews with those in Winehouse's inner circle, as well as with the late singer.

You get to see the early days before her fame, a vibrant young girl who just wanted a way to express herself and battle depression, which began when she was a young child.

The film shows depression was only one of the demons Winehouse battled. She also struggled with bulimia, drugs and alcohol – a mix that, combined with her rising stardom, made her a huge target for the tabloid media.

Watching "Amy" is kind of like watching someone tell their life story from the grave, a haunting film that pulls back the curtain and shows a jazz artist who wasn't prepared for the fame she received and the ultimate backlash as she struggled with her addictions.

As a fan of Winehouse's work, the film's use of her music reinvigorated my appreciation for her talent. Her biggest hit "Rehab" takes on a completely different meaning after seeing this film.

This was a very smart and very talented young lady, who spiraled out of control – even in her relationships.

You get to see the highs – including her Grammy wins – and the many lows, including a revelation from her former husband Blake Fielder-Civil that is absolutely gut-wrenching.

What makes "Amy" so impressive is that it doesn't try to point fingers and come up with some grand explanation on why Winehouse died at such a young age.

It shows that everyone had a part, yet no one was truly responsible. It was the perfect storm of events that led to the passing of a unique voice – and ultimately a pretty unique person.

"Amy" is a must-see and one of the year's most impressive films to date.

"Amy" is rated R for language and is now playing in limited release, opening this weekend in Nashville.

Grade: A


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