Ennio: The Maestro. 2021. Italy/Belgium/Netherlands/Japan. Written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. In Italian and English; English subtitles. 156 min.
The success of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso owes much to Ennio Morricone’s rousing, romantic score. Tornatore returned the favor with this inspiring and insightful portrait, released shortly after the composer’s death in 2020. In addition to smart and funny testimonials by many of Morricone’s collaborators and fans—Benardo Bertolucci, Clint Eastwood, Dario Argento, Edda Dell’Orso, Quentin Tarantino, Lina Wertmüller, Marco Bellocchio, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, the list goes on and on—the film also offers illuminating insights into Morricone’s process and biography; his straddling of the worlds of avant-garde improvisation, television and pop song arrangements, and movie music; and the man himself in all his stubborn, diffident charm.