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Review: Ennio

In the discussion of the greatest movie composers of all time, it’s almost definitely going to have John Williams on the list, possibly Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, James Horner or Howard Shore. But alongside Williams and possibly on the list before him will be Ennio Morricone. After his passing in 2020, director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) has put together the quintessential and most exhaustive documentary on the legendary Morricone.

ENNIO celebrates the life and legacy of the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who passed away on 6 July 2020. Through interviews with directors, screenwriters, musicians, songwriters, critics and collaborators, Tornatore’s documentary retraces the life and works of the cinema’s most popular and prolific 20th century composer – who wrote over 500 scores for film & television and sold over 70 million records – from his cinema debut with Sergio Leone, to winning an Academy Award for The Hateful Eight in 2016.

The documentary Ennio (A.K.A. Ennio The Maestro) takes us on the journey of Morricone life, with words from the great man himself in a interview completed before he died. It also features just about every film maker that has ever worked with him from Clint Eastwood, Dario Argento, Quentin Tarantino, Oliver Stone, Terrence Malick, Barry Levinson and Bernardo Bertolucci. It also includes various other musicians and composers including Williams and Zimmer. It shows the impact that Morricone had that just about everyone is involved with talking about the man who wanted to be a doctor, but his father made him learn the trumpet.

Ennio gives you a start to finish career, with all the great music included from Sergio Leone’s “Dollar Trilogy” and that instantly recognisable tune from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Morricone talks about how each song came together and you discover a breadth of musical knowledge and that how many films and composers have been influenced by the great man over the years.

Director Tornatore’s film is lovingly created. It’s clear not only was he one of Morricone’s best friends, but a huge admirer of his skill with music. The near three hour run time drifts by without you wanting to check your watch once as the various stories and songs keep you swept up as if you are part of one of Morricone’s scores itself.

Ennio will also leave you wanting to rewatch a lot of the films he scored to get a renewed vision of what he created and the continual theme is that his music is as much a character in all of the films as are all the actors.

It’s a beautiful documentary that despite covering every base, corner of Morricone’s story will leave you wanting to hear more. Be it a score from the likes of The Mission or The Untouchables or a Italian pop tune. Ennio leaves you with one conclusion. He was one of the greatest if not the greatest of all time. If you disagree with that, then take a seat and allow Ennio to envelop you and then at the films conclusion ask yourself the question, how can he not be one of the greatest.

A sublime documentary that for any film fan is quintessential viewing.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ennio is in selected cinemas now

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