Ozzy Osbourne's four decade track record as a culturally relevant artist is unprecedented, but his personal struggles have been shrouded in secrecy, until now. Featuring never before seen ... See full summary »
Ozzy Osbourne's four decade track record as a culturally relevant artist is unprecedented, but his personal struggles have been shrouded in secrecy, until now. Featuring never before seen footage uncovered from the archives and interviews with Paul McCartney, Tommy Lee and others, God Bless Ozzy Osbourne is the first documentary to take viewers inside the complex mind of rock's great icon. Emerging from a working class family in war torn England, Osbourne and his neighborhood friends formed Black Sabbath and invented heavy metal. Plagued by self doubt, Osbourne the solo superstar went on a binge that lasted 40 years. God Bless Ozzy Osbourne will relive the highs of his triumphs as well as his journey to sobriety, which Ozzy regards as his greatest accomplishment. Written by
for fans of Ozzy, but also those who haven't seen the Behind the Music too
Some of this isn't new, let's get that out of the way. Many of us know that Ozzy "John" Osbourne came out of dirt poor beginnings in a suburb of Birmingham and had little choice with his life but either work at a factory or become a rock and roll star, so he chose the latter. But as a child with dyslexia and a crippling level of insecurities, he went to drugs and alcohol - LOTS and LOTS of em (he could arguably be one of the only people to go head to head with Keith Richards as far as famous British rock Gods on substances) - and yet kept on with being a major figure in Black Sabbath and his solo years from 1980 onward. He continues, against all odds and some common sense perhaps, to tour to this day.
The documentary, co-produced by Ozzy's son Jack, is flattering on some levels (if nothing else about his stature in the industry and his legions of fans), but it also is absorbing because it shows all of the darkness that he had. And, more importantly (or concurrently), the loss that he had to endure: his first wife and set of kids after a harsh divorce, the passing of his father, the still shocking passing of guitarist Randy Rhodes, and that loss translated into a sense of self-worth. The film is in praise of the man because, despite ALL that he did, including what should have been unforgivable acts against his family (one story involving his wife Sharon shocks me now more than when I first heard it in the Behind the Music special), he kept on going, trying to sober, but never quite getting there - till his kids intervened in the best and worst ways.
I won't say you'll get anything mind-blowingly revelatory (then again this is a shorter cut than what is available elsewhere, i.e. Argentina has a 2 hour version), but it moves at a great pace, uses Ozzy on tour and his own mixed feelings about that as a backbone for the rest of the main story, and of course some of it by its sheer outrageousness is very funny. But some of the things in the film, mostly about the TV show the Osbournes, I was most happy were kept in the film. I like when a documentary can give a whole different perspective on things, and what seemed like a fun if sometimes odd show like the Osbournes was really a horror show when the cameras were off (or were on, as Jack says there's hours of footage of Ozzy as a full-blown alcoholic). If the show ever comes on TV again, and you watch this film, you won't be able to look at it the same way. That's something special.
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