The 88th Academy Awards will be remembered in Italy as the year that Maestro Morricone won the coveted statuette for Best Original Score for Quentin Tarantino's film The Hateful Eight.
“This is a great acknowledgment,” Morricone later said in one of the many interviews, “It is great for cinema itself as cinema always needs to be promoted. Nastri D'Argento, David di Donatello (Italian film awards) have the same scope as the Academy Awards. They help cinema.”
At 87, Morricone has more than 500 movie credits to this name including scores for Sergio Leone’s so-called “Dollars Trilogy” – “A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West.” Other unforgettable scores are for Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables,” Barry Levinson’s “Bugsy,” and Roland Joffe’s “The Mission.”
The Maestro received his first nomination in 1979 for the score to Days of Heaven directed by Terrence Malik. In 1984, the U.S. distributor of Once Upon a Time in America failed to file the proper paperwork so that Morricone's score to Leone's film, regarded as one of his best, would be eligible for consideration for an Academy Award. In 1986, Morricone received his second Oscar nomination for The Mission, followed bynominations for his scores to The Untouchables, (1987), Bugsy (1991), and Malena (2000).
Back in 2007, Morricone received a Honorary Academy Award, presented by Clint Eastwood, "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.”
That time, as well as last night, the Maestro received a heartfelt standing ovation after his name was pronounced by Quincy Jones and Pharrell. He was led to the stage by his son Giovanni and, in Italian, he thanked the other nominees, singling out the great John Williams, and explained that “there is no great music without a great film that inspires it. I thank Quentin Tarantino for choosing me and the great team that made this extraordinary film.” He then dedicated the award to his wife of sixty years. Maria.
2016 has been quite a year for the maestro who stared award season winning a Goden Globe.
“I'm very happy, and I wasn't expecting it. You never expect this sort of thing.” This is what Maestro Ennio Morricone said a couple of months back. That time Director Tarantino accepted the award on Morricone's behalf and has been criticized for calling film composers “ghetto” while trying to explain that Morricone is the real thing. "As far as I'm concerned,” he said “he's my favorite composer. And when I say favorite composer, I don't mean movie composer, that ghetto. I'm talking about Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. That's who I'm talking about." He then continued to say that Morricone has never won for any individual film, and their collaboration marks the maestro’s first original score for a Tarantino pic, and his first for a Western in decades. In reality, prior to “Hateful Eight” Morricone has previously won Golden Globes for Roland Joffe’s “The Mission,” in 1987, and for Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Legend of 1900” in 2000.
Morricone's response? "Tarantino is exaggerating, we have to let history judge. His was an immediate judgment, the judgments of a nice person who was kind enough to praise my work, but we have to wait two centuries to prove that what he has said about me is true.”
A couple of days before the Oscars, the Maestro was also given a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.