A&E’s ‘The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne’ Review

The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, directed by Greg Johnston, portrays the complicated life and career of John Michael Osbourne, the frontman of the iconic heavy metal group Black Sabbath, successful solo artist, and a hit reality TV star, reminding viewers that despite all of his success, Ozzy Osbourne is still human–human enough to struggle with tragedy, alcoholism, and addiction.

The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne not only portrays the highs and lows of Ozzy’s music career, but it also goes into vivid detail about his complex personal life and the tumultuous experience of living as a rockstar. Heavy drug and alcohol abuse throughout most of his career brought a lot of pain, not only for Ozzy but also for the people around him. This documentary reveals that, at a crux in his music career and a shallow point in his life, there was one person who stuck it out and helped him along the way to his prosperous solo career: Sharon Osbourne. 

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The most shocking aspects of this documentary occurred when Sharon shared challenging moments of her and Ozzy’s life: absent parenting, domestic abuse, rehab, terminal illness, and so much more. But despite it all, Sharon always seemed to pick up all the shattered pieces of Ozzy’s life and put them back together; she even created an entire Music Festival so that Ozzy could still perform without having to tour regularly. If nothing else, this documentary solidifies the sentiment that Sharon Osbourne is the backbone of Ozzy’s successful career and family life. While she wasn’t the one singing onstage, she put a hell of a lot of work into keeping Ozzy’s life in order. Sharon Osbourne should receive a lot more credit than she gets for his success.

The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne feels like a piece of visual history as it portrays the complex nature of alcoholism and addiction through the narrative on Ozzy’s life. Johnston masters emotional storytelling through a balance of nostalgic clips that document the highs and lows of Ozzy’s career with strikingly candid interviews that provide in-depth insight into his life off-stage. 

This documentary is not at all what I expected; I honestly thought that it would be another documentary full of behind-the-scenes tour clips and words from Ozzy’s greatest admirers. Instead, The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne is an honest narrative about Osbourne’s life that reveals his greatest faults and failures.  

Bottom Line

The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne is an emotional rollercoaster that humanizes an iconic rockstar while captivating viewers, throughout.

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