GOD BLESS OZZY OSBOURNE
Shot over the course of three years, the no-holds-barred documentary charts the life story of Ozzy Osbourne, as seen through the eyes of his youngest child, producer/filmmaker, Jack Osbourne, who worked alongside directors Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscitelli. Plagued by self-doubt, Osbourne the solo superstar, went on a binge that lasted 40 years and the film relives his highs and lows as well as his journey to sobriety, which Ozzy regards as his greatest accomplishment. It includes a mix of never before seen footage from recent tours, archive footage of Black Sabbath, plus interviews with Ozzy's Sabbath bandmates, Paul McCartney, Tommy Lee and others.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Nearly everyone survived the two years the filmmaking crew spent on the road with Ozzy's Black Sabbath band, we are reassured by an opening card. And we survive it, too, much wiser and better informed about Ozzy's crazy life. From a surprise 60th birthday party in Las Vegas to candid, self deprecating chatter from the Birmingham born rock legend, this doco does Ozzy - and he stays done.
His sisters, his brother, his wife Sharon, his children, his mates and his 'people' all have a go at being amazed at how he survived himself - and so does he. Drugs and alcohol were his staple diet, music was his passion. Still is.
His working class youth, lack of prospects and occasional petty crime all pointed to a wasted life to come - until he heard The Beatles' She Loves You on the radio. "I wanted to be a rock star for the rest of my life."
If you boil it down, Ozzy's story is a familiar one: a kid from nowhere with nothing to lose makes it big but retains a low self worth and puts on a façade of crazy antics as his protective shield - as wife Sharon explains it. And like other rock stars, it's his excesses that drive his success and whatever musical talent he has is churned passionately into a combo of novelty and frenzy that connects with youngsters who are just like he was, with nowhere to go. Except his concerts.
But their fans didn't get to order cocaine by the breakfast cereal box-full .... Now, with him and his band members looking back on those days, regrets are evident, for all the opportunities and all the money that was lost or wasted. It's a bit sad really. But then the music isn't.
It was his son's ability to deal with life sober that was Ozzy's life saving turning point, his son shaming him into self control. Full of irony and pathos, this doco takes us inside the life of a man who had to almost destroy himself before he found a way to salvage his self esteem. It should be mandatory viewing for all wanna be rock stars.
First published in the Sun-Herald
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GOD BLESS OZZY OSBOURNE (MA15+)
CAST: Documentary featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee, Paul McCartney, Billy Morrison, Henry Rollins
PRODUCER: Jack Osbourne, Jordan Tappis, Marc Weingarten
DIRECTOR: Jack Osbourne, Mike Fleiss, Mike Piscitelli
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mike Piscitelli
EDITOR: Rich Fox
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Omniverse Vision
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 15, 2011