Friday, June 21, 2024

Review: Ron Howard’s “Pavarotti” Hits All the Right Notes Capturing the Out-sized Life of a Man with Giant Appetites


Ron Howard’s “Pavarotti” is a cinematic gem which captures the larger than life tenor and those who loved him.  Opera is secondary in this complex and compelling saga. The drama of Pavarotti, the unique Italian passion and the storied culture, all lend itself to Howard’s talent of telling a story of this off the charts appealing larger than life character, making the film more than a documentary.

Howard illustrates how this over the top, charismatic genius copes with his own massive life.  Interviews with his family with friends including Bono, as well as highlighting the famous, chic people in his world including Princess Diana all woven in with his notable charitable foundation.  The film’s narration, scoring and cinematography are spectacular.  There is also footage that has not been shown before.

Howard does not gloss over his subject, the darker parts of Pavarotti’s outsized life, his womanizing, and family melodrama are all talked about– as well as his second marriage to a much younger Nicoletta Mantovani, which caused estrangement from his first wife and three daughters. Truly captivating, I would have happily watched hours and more on this man who was Pavarotti and whose talent we will likely never see again.  With his Pavarotti, Ron Howard expertly weaves his storytelling skills in a pitch perfect way by telling the provocative story of how Pavarotti’s operatic shining soul continues to light up the world.

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

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