Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary, the short-titled Amy, has made the Academy Award shortlist for ‘Best Documentary’. The deeply emotional film charts Amy’s life and career as she battles with bulimia, drug addiction and the paparazzi, weaving an intimate portrait of a misunderstood young woman unprepared for her own popularity. The praise of the film has been overwhelming: after huge success at its unveiling at Cannes, Amy has gone on to become the highest-grossing British documentary of all time.
Over the past 5 years, Kapadia has made demystifying celebrities his bread and butter, having directed the BAFTA-winning Senna and served as executive producer on the recently released Ronaldo, yet this is his first shot at what many consider the ultimate prize.
Amy is one of fifteen documentaries in the shortlist and it has stiff competition for company, including What Happened, Miss Simone?, Listen To Me Marlon and He Named Me Malalato name a few. With a shortlist including such exemplary examples of documentary-making, Amy is not guaranteed an easy ride by any means. It remains to be seen whether it will make the final nominations, which will be revealed January 14, before getting its day in the sunshine.