Tuesday January 19, 2010 23:29

Movie #0008 – All That Jazz (1979)

Posted by Michael


Directed by: Bob Fosse
Starring: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer
First Viewing

Synopsis: A semi-autobiographical film by Bob Fosse about a hard-living, womanizing dance choreographer.

Like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this is another film that wasn’t particularly on my radar. If it weren’t for the list, there’s a good chance that I never would have watched this movie. Don’t I wish…

I really did not care for this film. Though it started out decently enough, its meandering plotlessness and its emphasis on long dance numbers that ranged from watchable to downright interminable eventually completely wore me down. By the time Roy Scheider’s character had a heart attack and wound up in the hospital, I was pretty much ready to pack it in, and at that point the film was just barely over the half-way mark. Up to this point the film had featured a smattering of fantasy sequences in which Scheider’s character talks to a woman who is supposed to represent… I dunno, his mother? Or maybe she’s supposed to represent a little bit of all of the women in his life, since his relationship with women is rocky at best. It’s never made entirely clear. And yes, in case you couldn’t tell by now, Bob Fosse clearly took a good deal of inspiration from 8 1/2, which is by far the superior film. Clearly, Bob Fosse — as legendary as he might have been as a choreographer — is no Fellini.

But I was talking about the fantasy sequences, which essentially take over the film once Scheider ends up in the hospital. At this point the film completely lost me, and I was actively bored and just waiting for the thing to end. It was just dance sequence after dance sequence, and the whole thing started feeling a lot like a pretentious excuse to stage elaborate (and yet oddly dull) dance numbers. Boy, I did not like this film. List: you have failed me. But you’ve been pretty good to me so far, so I guess we’re even.

Oh, but I should mention that Roy Scheider was really, really good — far better than the movie deserved, in fact.

Buy the movie at Amazon

1 Response to Movie #0008 – All That Jazz (1979)

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kymbos

January 21st, 2010 at 12:45 am

Am enjoying your reviews, and will be guided to watch a few based on your comments. As such, will be giving this one a miss!

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