Review Roundup: What Do Critics Think of Ron Howard's PAVAROTTI Documentary?

Review Roundup: What Do Critics Think of Ron Howard's PAVAROTTI Documentary?

Academy Award®-winning director Ron Howard's new documentary about the most beloved opera singer of all time, PAVAROTTI, is set to open in theaters on June 7th.

Created from a combination of Luciano Pavarotti's genre-redefining performances and granted access to never-before-seen footage, the film will give audiences around the world a stunningly intimate portrait of the most beloved opera singer of all time.

Find out what critics think of the documentary, and check back as new reviews come in!


Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:

Intelligent, vastly appreciative of its subject and conventional in approach, Pavarotti can scarcely go wrong due to the charisma of its subject, the gorgeous music that wallpapers the entire film and an arc of success arguably unmatched in the opera world. If the film is all but engorged with goodies, one can hardly object that this is in some way inappropriate to it subject.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

The movie doesn't deal with the fractious ripples the marriage caused in Pavarotti's own family. Viewers are free to wag their fingers at the choices he made, but Howard adopts a no-muss-no-fuss tone of benevolent civility that feels like a legitimate way to go, keeping Pavarotti's identity as a singer front and center. The domestic breakups are about wounds. The genius of Pavarotti's voice is that it had the power to heal. The movie pays ample testament to how that voice, for 40 years, poured out of him, rapturous and tragic, soaring on wings of pure emotion, at times wracked with a spiritual pain that was surely his own, but always lifting his audience to the mountaintop of beauty, saying, "This is where I live. And you can too."

David Ehrlich, IndieWire:

But while this film provides an open invitation for people to rediscover Pavarotti's genius, the man behind the Maestro remains something of a mystery. If the best moments of Howard's doc suggest that Pavarotti was a pure soul whose generosity resonated as strongly as his vibrato, the worst stretches leave the flimsy impression that this larger-than-life figure was just an empty vessel for the 20th century's fullest voice.

Tim Grierson, ScreenDaily:

Clearly, Pavarotti is geared to those unfamiliar with opera, and in fact some of the documentary's best sections concern Pavarotti's contemporaries and successors explaining precisely what made his voice so remarkable. These discussions of craft, paired with Pavarotti's own observation that part of the beauty of his vocation was the uncertainty of his instrument, help illuminate the skill and discipline that went into honing what seemed effortless on stage.

Ken Jaworowski, NY Times:

With all its admiration, "Pavarotti" sometimes threatens to turn sappy - a fawning interview with Bono nearly pushes it over the edge. When that happens, Howard and his team (including the writer Mark Monroe and the editor Paul Crowder) are quick to highlight the tenor's charisma and turn the attention back to his talents. They know: When Pavarotti starts to sing, you can overlook everything else.

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