Ennio Morricone at the Oscars: “I dedicate this award to my wife”
by Camillo De Marco
- The winner of the Academy Award for Best Score for The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino, the first victory for the great Italian maestro, who won an Oscar for his career achievements in 2006
The award represents Ennio Morricone’s first victory at the Academy Awards, not counting the honorary Oscar he received for his career achievements in 2006. Last night the 87-year-old Italian maestro was awarded for The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino (see news article), after coming close to winning the coveted statuette in the past with 5 nominations: for Malena in 2000 and before that, for Bugsy (1991), The Untouchables (1987), The Mission (1986) and Days of Heaven (1978). “I’d like to thank the Academy for this prestigious award”, said the composer in Italian upon accepting the award. “I’d like to pay tribute to the other nominees, to the highly esteemed John Williams in particular. A great score is not possible without a great film to inspire it. I’d like to thank Quentin Tarantino for choosing me, along with Harvey Weinstein and the entire team, who have made this an extraordinary film. I dedicate this award to my wife Maria, who’s here tonight.”
The score he wrote for The Hateful Eight is the first western score that Morricone has written in 40 years, as part of a career spanning six decades and 500 films. The Oscar was the cherry on the cake after his victories at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
In the latest issue of influential Italian film magazine “Segno Cinema”, pianist and musicologist Roberto Prosseda wrote the following of Morricone: “his music is only well known for the scores he’s written for the most famous films, although a number of other pieces he’s written for film are precious and original, especially those in which he explores complex styles, picking up, for example, on dodecaphony or the neoclassicism of Stravinsky. […] The eclecticism with which he alternates highly subtle romantic melodies with extreme experimentation is striking. […] All of Ennio Morricone’s scores have a distinguishing feature to them. We could perhaps describe it as a ‘truth’: that pure truth that allows the viewer to pick up on an emotion, a thought or a vision with every passage, bringing it to life with disarming simplicity”.
(Translated from Italian)