Watching the recent documentary film about Amy Winehouse caused me to reflect back on other female singers whose stories had a similar impact on me when translated to the big screen. A few that sprung to my mind and have left me feeling full of mixed emotions as I hark back to them this afternoon:
From my tweens – The Karen Carpenter Story
It started from a beautiful tender beginning and pitched into a meteoric rise to stardom, seemingly in the supportive environment of a family set-up. The main visual memories I have of this film not seen since my tweens are those of Karen staring dysmorphically at her body in a mirror, and running compulsively as a way to gain some control over her life. It all proved too much for Karen Carpenter and I breathe deeply as I think of the ending to that story.
From my teens – What’s Love Got To Do With It? (The Tina Turner story)
Again charting the rise of the enviably strong Tina Turner, this is more the story of strength and commitment overcoming adversity and emotional pain. As a teen, it opens your mind to the perils of choosing the wrong man. It also introduces you to a woman who triumphs in her rise through some painful times to a woman to be reckoned with, one who lets her voice do the talking. Tina Turner is definitely one who channels her anger out and wields her strength and will to bring her story to the world. Still think she rocks in her minis aged 70+!
From my twenties (or more, eek) – Whitney (2015)
Ah Whitney Houston – when my dad bemoaned the wails of the types of female singers that my sister and I used to blast from our stereos (e.g. Mariah Carey – sorry Mariah!), even he was impenetrable to the depth and soul in Ms. Houston’s voice. This one was acceptable, even on family car journeys. This lady provided the soundtrack to my teens, in large part due to an obsession emerging out of the 1992 Bodyguard movie – we played that soundtrack till it ravelled in the recorder. Alas, behind the scene, Whitney battled within the confines of a tumultuous marriage and the price of fame, until the point that it overwhelmed her in 2012. This for-TV film gets a mixed review – I have no doubt a better treatment will make it to the big screen one day! Live on Whitney!
What seems so deeply common is the complexity of character of these women, the toil in their willingness to feel and to live, sometimes becoming overwhelmed, sometimes overcoming.
To catch Amy before it leaves cinemas, get tickets here exclusively for 2-for-1 for £10.60 including booking fee – we got this deal cos we want you all to see it, it should not be missed!