Ozzy Osbourne‘s son, Jack Osbourne, spoke to BBC Radio 1‘s Newsbeat about “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne”, a feature-length documentary about the life of his father. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On why he decided to produce the documentary:
“I did this mainly because I was fed up of the way the media was still portraying my dad as this bumbling, messed up character. He has changed so much and has become a new man who I respect . . . I wanted to highlight that. That was the inspiration for the film. He’s been sober and clean for five years.”
On how Ozzy, who’s now 62, finally became sober five years ago:
“I just told him, ‘You claim you’re this great guy which you’re not. We, as kids, have never had to go without or want for anything — well, I need a dad,’ and I think that’s what rang a bell with him.
“Just because you have a house and all the things you want physically, you still need that emotional background of a father and that’s not class specific. It doesn’t mean just because you have money that’s automatically what’s going to happen. I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to.”
“God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” was co-produced by Jack Osbourne and is the first film released by Jack‘s production company, Jacko Productions. The documentary, which was originally titled “Wreckage Of My Past: The Ozzy Osbourne Story”, was directed by Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscitelli.
“God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” premiered on April 24 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and received a positive review from Entertainment Weekly, which said, “What could have been a glossy, fawning tribute to the most visible face in heavy metal music history — especially considering it was co-produced by his son, Jack — actually turned out to be a remarkably evenhanded look at Ozzy‘s monumental musical influence as well as his less exemplary life as an addict and often-absent father.”
Critic Joseph Brannigan Lynch added, “‘God Bless Ozzy Osbourne’ may not answer the question ‘What makes Ozzy act so… Ozzy-like?’, but it’s hardly a fluffy tribute. This documentary succeeds in offering a balanced portrait of a man who made many mistakes over the course of his addiction-riddled life and also happens to be one of the most influential hard rock singers ever.”
Lynch also wrote that the film “starts with Osbourne‘s poor childhood in the cramped quarters of inner-city Birmingham, England, and goes up to his long-sought sobriety following the end of the water-cooler fodder reality series ‘The Osbournes’.”
While the movie does not delve into certain aspects of Ozzy‘s life — such as his attempted strangulation of wife/manager Sharon years ago — frank interviews with his five children “portray him as an absentee father even when he was physically present due to his mind-numbing abuse of pills, cocaine and liquor,” according to Lynch.
The film features interviews with many of Ozzy‘s family members, friend and colleagues, including Paul McCartney, the members of BLACK SABBATH and MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s Tommy Lee.
Plans for theatrical distribution have yet to be announced.