All That Jazz (1979) Review

Director/choreographer Bob Fosse directs a story based on his own life in this poignant film. I say that because it seems Fosse predicted his own death.

I guess you have to know a little bit about Bob Fosse before watching this film, which I did. That he died of a heart attack, which is quite strange when you see Joe in the film have open heart surgery and then die not too long after that. I love Fosse’s musicals, Chicago is one of my favorites. After watching this film I think I appreciate the film version of Chicago even more now, after the scenes in this film happening in his head with musical numbers. I hope that is why they took that approach for the film version of Chicago. I mean I have seen the stage show three times now!

But anyway All That Jazz is a tale of a man who has always had what he wanted when he wanted, I guess that relates to the women in his life more than anything. Must have felt a little strange for Ann Reinking to be playing a character based on herself and directed by the man she had the relationship or affair with? Especially when she had to audition for it too? Honestly I cannot think of anything that must have felt as strange for her. She does get to showcase what an incredible dancer is is with a few musical moments in this film.

I cannot actually believe that it has taken me so long to eventually watch this film after having the DVD for a few years now. So pleased I eventually watched it from start to finish in one go! The dancing that we all know and love for his style is shown very much in this film. But it is so much more than that . . .

It is a man crying for help and trying to decide if he is sorry for the choices he has made in life. We don’t just see (and hear) about the many women that he has in his life, we also see the relationship he has with his daughter. Openly admitting that he has not been the best father. Watching I was wondering how much of this was real and how he used to be with his daughter, I liked the dancing scenes especially considering she is/was a dancer.

I will definitely give this film another watch at some point in the future, I just found it really had so much going for it. I enjoyed the moments with the “angel” or at least that is what I saw her as, asking him questions and really giving a deep insight into what he meant and what he was just saying. Very brace for Fosse to be so open about himself on film, very impressive.

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