Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Once again, I must apologize for adding one more review to an already well reviewed movie. My excuse is that no matter how much this movie was praised, no matter how many academy awards it won (four), it remains vastly underrated. What can I possibly mean by this? What I mean is this: Of the countless movies I have seen in my long and misspent life, this stands out. It has worn well over the years, it improves with multiple watchings. In fact, it is the only movie I have ever watched voluntarily more than twice. It is extremely difficult to compare movies across all genre. How a movie, a play, or even a book is enjoyed is dependent on mood, circumstance, and many variables extrinsic to the movie itself. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you want deep, tragic, philosophical challenges, sometimes light comedic distraction, action, escapist fantasy, music, or pretty pictures. How we respond to a movie varies immensely from time to time. Not this movie. Put another way, this, in my opinion, has a right to be called the finest movie ever made. And after all, this is a forum for opinion, isn't it? Well, my opinion is that ALL THAT JAZZ has practically everything that you might want in a movie, whatever you are in the mood for.
In view of the excellent and detailed reviews already written for ALL THAT JAZZ I will adumbrate the details of the movie and concentrate on pure subjective opinion. Roy Scheider presents the slightly exaggerated and surreal version of Bob Fosse (Gideon in the film) that drives everything in the movie. Leland Palmer and Ann Renking appear perfectly cast and perform flawlessly. Erzebet Foldi is so splendid as the daughter that she would steal the show, except that everyone else is equally remarkable. Ben Vereen is brilliant; one longs for more of Jessica Lange. John Lithgow adds his usual brilliant interpretation of an all too limited role.
The story itself is a satirical presentation of a very slightly exaggerated but all too real lifestyle. Scheider is horribly convincing in his portrayal of the narcissistic conflict between aggrandizement and self-loathing that characterizes many people in the performing arts. Nothing fails. The music is magnificent, the dance sequences mesmerizing (and erotic), the visual presentations, stunning. The sequence of scenes culminating in a frenetic, brilliantly choreographed (of course), visually captivating final scene simply seems perfect. It couldn't have ended any other way and still made sense.
I have enjoyed many films, liked quite a few, admired the artistry of a handful, but this movie, I practically worship. And it is the only movie I can remember that not only has aged well, but, like great music, seems to improve with each performance.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older