Noomi Rapace Is In Talks To Star In An Amy Winehouse Biopic: No, No, No?

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The news about an Amy Winehouse biopic starring Noomi Rapace brings up mixed feelings, to say the least. Our first impression is that it is completely unnecessary. Of course, it's not surprising that the Grammy-winning singer's career and her tragic death would make for an ideal on-screen drama, but that film has already been made — and it was perfect.

Amy
, the incredible and heartbreaking 2015 documentary chronicling the life of the troubled star, gave moviegoers a glimpse of the singer (and those around her) that we'd never seen before. It allowed us to see beyond the tabloids, and it gave harrowing insight into how and why Winehouse fell apart right before our eyes. Amy is haunting, real, and unprecedented filmmaking that is essential viewing for anyone who loved Winehouse and her music. So why try to tell her story again?

Well, there are two reasons here, and one is that Noomi Rapace is a very good actress. The original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star does bear a certain resemblance to Winehouse, and her ability to tackle gritty dramas (see: The Drop) would likely help her effectively portray the singer.

The other reason is that the film is reportedly going to be written and directed by Kirsten Sheridan. Now, while it's important — we'd even say essential — that a woman tell Winehouse's story, it's even more crucial that said woman knows a thing or two about storytelling that comes from the heart. Sheridan co-wrote one of the great, underrated gems of the mid-2000s, In America, a semi-autobiographical drama about Irish immigrants in New York City. In America is a gorgeous and heartfelt piece of work about life and coping with great loss.

Rapace and Sheridan would, no doubt, be capable of telling Winehouse's story with grace, honesty, and dignity. But for those of us who endured the gut-wrenching Amy, this may not be a story we want to revisit. And anyone who has seen Amy — or followed the Winehouse family's response to the documentary — knows that this story could be told in an entirely different light.

Winehouse's tragic fall is a modern-day cautionary tale, but it's worth asking: Are we simply gawking at her all over again? Are we honoring her memory by turning her into art, or are we contributing to the spectacle that was part of her undoing? Amy managed to both capture Winehouse's essence and take a hard look at what caused her demise, which is what any film about her should do. It was inevitable, really, that a biopic would be made — but whether it's needed remains to be seen.
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