Noomi Rapace, who came to prominence as Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy and starred in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” is in the process of lining up what may be her most challenging, and controversial, role yet: Amy Winehouse.
The late artist, subject of director Asif Kapadia’s unsettling “Amy” earlier this year, died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning—her meteoric fame and seemingly endless reserves of musical talent and raw emotion cut short by a long struggles against addiction and substance abuse. (The doc is nonetheless among the frontrunners for Best Documentary Feature, according to our own Anne Thompson’s Oscar predictions.)
Kapadia’s use of footage captured by the paparazzi hounding Winehouse ruffled more than a few feathers, and any actress taking on the role is likely to be submitted to similar scrutiny. Yet one suspects that the well-respected Rapace—who’s set to play another musical icon, opera singer Maria Callas, in director Niki Caro’s forthcoming “Callas”—is eyeing the role with her usual discernment. The Winehouse biopic will be written and directed by Kirsten Sheridan, who co-wrote 2002’s sterling “In America” with sister Naomi and father Jim.
One concern? Winehouse’s biography resists the redemptive narrative common in biopics of musicians (“Ray,” “Walk the Line”), and yet Sheridan, according to Variety, promises a “life-affirming approach as we go through the looking glass into her life and art.” We shall see.