All That Jazz
Director: Bob Fosse. Cast: Roy Scheider, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking, Jessica Lange, Erszebet Foldi, Ben Vereen, John Lithgow, Sloane Shelton. Screenplay: Robert Alan Arthur and Bob Fosse.

Bob Fosse is no Federico Fellini, but if All That Jazz is not quite , the film still works better as an imaginative, fleet-footed chronicle of the director's own solipsism (and self-criticism) than I suppose it really should. The sleek, lithely athletic dance numbers on which Fosse made his name comprise most of the picture, which purports to detail director-choreographer Scheider's difficulties in mounting a typically extravagant show after having suffered a heart attack. Scheider, proficiently filling the role of Fosse's brash, diligent, almost messianic alter ego, could at any moment suffer another coronary, and the film—hypnotically edited by Alan Heim—constantly bounces back and forth between the narrative proper and Scheider's conversations with the Angel of Death, incarnated by a heavily-costumed Jessica Lange in her post-Kong/pre-Frances stage. We don't really learn anything about Bob Fosse that is not evident from the first few moments of Scheider's performance, and the fact that every character in his life expresses themselves through his style of dance only serves to swell our impression of his two-ton ego. All the same, few artists of Fosse's type have the instinctual showmanship or sustain the same level of energy in their routines to substantiate a full-length motion picture. Except for the protracted, gaudily pyrotechnic finale, none of the sequences in All That Jazz are tiresome; it's easy to harbor reservations about the movie and still enjoy the experience of watching it. Fosse suggests throughout that his life is more about style and momentum than real substance, and if so, he has made exactly the right film to convey that message. B


Academy Award Nominations and Winners:
Best Picture
Best Director: Bob Fosse
Best Actor: Roy Scheider
Best Original Screenplay: Robert Alan Arthur & Bob Fosse
Best Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno
Best Art Direction: Philip Rosenberg, Tony Walton, Edward Stewart, and Gary Brink
Best Costume Design: Albert Wolsky
Best Film Editing: Alan Heim
Best Original Song Score (and Adaptation or Adaptation Score): Ralph Burns

Golden Globe Nominations:
Best Actor (Musical/Comedy): Roy Scheider

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