Grade: A

Directed by Asif Kapadia

The tribulations of a struggling artists have been lamented in pop culture and on the silver screen time and time again. Life imitating art is a concept with which we're all familiar. Meshing these two together becomes an insightful and deeply sad portrait of a young talent spiraled into despair in Asif Kapadia's Amy, an intimate look at the rise and fall of Amy Winehouse.

The film opens with home footage of a young, teenage Winehouse serenading a friend for her birthday. Though she's partially goofing off, there's a hint of a sultry voice already blossoming. Fast-forward a few years later and she's in a rehearsal studio belting out modern jazz sounds years far beyond her maturity. From an early age, Winehouse displays sensibilities of a creative caught in between reality and loneliness. Struggles with depression made their mark early on, even though she had no clue why she felt distracted or different. A father who was absent for much of her younger years, and feelings of self-doubt and internal struggle to express herself, perhaps led her into a certain vulnerability that became her downfall early on. From a relationship that advanced far quicker than it should, Amy became the product of addiction and the fodder of tabloids worldwide.

Pieced together with very personal footage, director Kapadia creates a troubling image of Amy's surroundings and how a lack of true support could be to blame for the artist's ultimate demise. Early in the process of her becoming a star, her close loved ones suggested rehab, but her father, charmed by Amy, chose not to force her to go. This stands as an important moment that would shape the remainder of her life, as well as the basis for one of her biggest hit, "Rehab." In fact, one of the more eye-opening sequences laced throughout the film is the revelation of real life moments and how they shaped the lyrics to her songs.

Amy did have a strong backing of friends and family that cared, but she unfortunately allowed herself to distance them in favor of love and substance. Seeing the transition from a curious teen into a glassy-eyed haze of a human is harrowing and sad. Remembering the tabloid coverage and social conversation around her life creates a kind of guilt, now knowing that the external Amy Winehouse was far from the internal Amy Winehouse. Before she died, she revealed to her bodyguard that she would easily leave it all behind to be able to walk down the street without being bothered.

Rating: R
Runtime: 128 minutes



It seems not as many people were excited about a return of the foul-mouthed teddy bear as studio heads thought. Ted 2, the foreseen big opening of the weekend, failed to topple Jurassic World or Inside Out, debuting in third place with $33 million.

The bigger story, though, is Jurassic World's championing of the box office yet again. Earning $54 million, the blockbuster has now crossed the $500 million mark domestically in only 17 days of release, making it the fastest film to reach that benchmark. It is also now the highest-grossing film of 2015, beating Avengers: Age of Ultron by more than $50 million, and it is the fifth highest-grossing film, domestically, of all time. All eyes are on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 to possibly unseat Jurassic World later this year.

Inside Out almost capped Jurassic World, falling into second place only $2 million behind the dino pic. It is now on pace to possibly become Pixar's highest-grossing original title to date.

Besides Ted 2, which suffered from poor reviews, the weekend's only other major release was family film Max. The war hero animal film fell in line with projections, earning just over $12 million and ending in fourth place. As fewer people begin seeing Inside Out, because basically everyone has seen it, it may see an uptick until Minions opens on July 10.

In limited release, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl continues to slowly build momentum, gaining a 172% increase over the previous weekend and ending with just under $1 million.

Here are the Top Ten film for the week ending June 28, 2015:

1. Jurassic World, $54.2 million (Total: $500m)

2. Inside Out, $52 million (Total: $184.9m)

3. Ted 2, $33 million (NEW)

4. Max, $12.2 million (NEW)

5. Spy, $7.8 million (Total: $88.3m)

6. San Andreas, $5.2 million (Total: $141.8m)

7. Dope, $2.8 million (Total: $11.7m)

8. Insidious: Chapter 3, $2 million (Total: $49.7m)

9. Mad Max: Fury Road, $1.7 million (Total: $147m)

10. Avengers: Age of Ultron, $1.6 million (Total: $452m)




It was a box office weekend for the record books as Jurassic World fiercely defended the top spot, earning an additional $100 million, and setting itself up to be the quickest film to earn $1 billion worldwide, and Disney/Pixar's Inside Out became the highest grossing original film ever, with $91 million.

Both properties were living up to huge expectations, despite Inside Out's failure to follow in line with previous Disney/Pixar outings and finishing in the top spot. Showing a reason to believe that sometimes the top spot isn't the best place to be, the animated juggernaut that is a hit with audiences and critics proved its worth by entering the conversation with a massive opening for any type of film, much less an original animated property.

Featuring the voices of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, and Mindy Kaling, among others, Inside Out benefitted from a heavy marketing campaign that resonated with all ages. Plus Smith's Sadness is the breakout character of the year.

In its second week, Jurassic World took its word-of-mouth praise and finished with a number that most films fail to even reach. It's moving a lightening bolt speed to become one of the highest grossing pics of all time.

The only other film to open this weekend was the smaller, independent film Dope, which took in enough to debut in fifth place.

The Top Ten Film for the Week Ending June 21, 2015:

1. Jurassic World, $102 million (Total: $398m)

2. Inside Out, $91 million (NEW)

3. Spy, $10.5 million (Total: $74.3m)

4. San Andreas, $8.2 million (Total: $132m)

5. Dope, $6 million (NEW)

6. Insidious: Chapter 3, $4.1 million (Total: $45m)

7. Pitch Perfect 2, $3.2 million (Total: $177m)

8. Mad Max: Fury Road, $2.8 million (Total: $143.6m)

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron, $2.7 million (Total: $449m)

10. Tomorrowland, $2 million (Total: $87.6m)