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500 Five-Star: All That Jazz (1979)

August 27, 2011

 

For the past few weeks I’ve been watching numerous admirable, but not particularly enjoyable, films for this project, and if I’m honest it’s been pretty exhausting.  Not even at the end of the As, and I was already wondering if I should take a break and just spend the next few weeks watching Disney films instead.  Then two days ago, I watched All That Jazz and my faith was restored.  Admittedly I am a geek for musicals.  I think I’m right in saying that All That Jazz is the only musical on the entire list that I don’t already own on DVD…and that’s something I’ll be changing as soon as I can.  It’s an incredible film, full of the creativity that you would expect from Bob Fosse.  The fact that it’s a semi-autobiographical film should tell you just how much insane, imaginative choreography you can expect to see in the course of the two hour run time.  Is it basically showing off from Fosse?  Yes (in fact, the word egomaniac can’t help but come to mind), but who cares when it’s as entertaining as this?  It’s at various turns seedy, scary, funny and dramatic, and the finale is one of the best I’ve ever seen.  The manic insanity wouldn’t work without a strong lead to hold it all together though, and Roy Scheider does an amazing job.  I’ve said it a million times in this blog already, but how he didn’t win an Oscar is a question I’ll never be able to answer.  Another in a long line of crazy Academy decisions.

 

Verdict:

A wild, crazy but ultimately magnificently entertaining musical.  It’s not The Sound of Music, that’s for sure…

*****

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