You’re Not You stars Hillary Swank as a young woman who seems to have it all and is diagnosed with ALS. The movie follows the heartbreaking story of that diagnosis but also the opportunity it gives her to face her life and certain choices. It also follows the development of her relationship with her somewhat misguided caregiver. It was really difficult to watch at parts, especially since I lost an aunt to ALS earlier this year. The cruelty and unfairness of the disease really come through in this movie and we both felt so angry and helpless after watching it. That might not seem like a strong testament for the movie, but please check it out. Though painful, the movie is a reminder of the uncertainty of life and how even the worst situations can present opportunities for growth and joy.
In a similar vein, Amy was also a heartbreaking story of the life and rise to stardom of Amy Winehouse. But it was heartbreaking in a very different way. It is compiled mainly of video footage and photos of different parts of her life with voiceovers by different people who knew her and were close to her. It begins by showing a witty and smart girl who is still very much a child when she is discovered.
The uncut footage of her voice is breathtaking. Her talent is just undeniable and so overwhelming. Towards the end, she is singing with her idol, Tony Bennet and she is completely starstruck and nervous. When I hear the two of them sing, there is no comparison in my mind. She blows Tony Bennett out of the water.
The movie illustrated that there were so many people in her life, people really close to her, like her husband, people who should have protected her, like her father, people who could only see the money she brought in and were willing to exploit her until it led to her death. There is no doubt that an individual ultimately makes the final decisions about their life but it is not hard to imagine how different the outcome of Amy’s life would have been if she had been able to break free from the demons, not only in her, but who were around her.