This leads him to the hospital where he faces a personal abyss monitored by the Angel of Death, here a diaphanous woman named Angelique. The Theme of the film, A director in the search of a way to make his own film that would never been made is also The theme of Fellini's masterpiece, and reminds us to Fellini's world. This is not a film that could have been written and will not be enjoyed by those of simple intellects. I can only imagine the smirk that must have been on Fosse's face throughout this production. . They are totally consumed, and they will burn out pretty fast, thus the morning ritual, of cigarette, Vivaldi, Alka-Seltzer Visine, and a Dexie.
The film doesn't particularly look good it's a gray movie , though it has amazing musical flourishes and the self-styled bombast is actually rather amusing once you get the idea. This, Fosse's fourth and also penultimate film, is his version of 8?. I know that this was a labor of love for Fosse, and that it has eerie similarities to his death several years later. The score also won an Oscar which was also deserved, it captures all the glitz and glamour of musical theatre brilliantly with no over-sentimentalising. The comedian who appears as the subject of a movie is based on Lenny, a previous Fosse film. Bob Fosse could have made a film that depicted the struggle of the Broadway artist, that really showed us the ups, downs, and betweens of working in showbiz.
That philandering has led to relationship problems, with Audrey during their marriage, and potentially now with Kate who wants a committed relationship with Joe largely in not wanting the alternative of entering the dating world again. He directs, choreographs and writes Broadway musicals and the occasional movie. This movie is not for everyone--I know of one theatre in which half the audience walked out demanding their money back--but, if you're game, you probably won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. Roy Schneider gives a blistering career-best performance as a very sordid character with a good amount of complexity. Seriously, she has a difficult role and plays it beautifully.
Joe also lives a hard and fast life, he chain. Joe's professional and personal lives are intertwined, he a chronic philanderer, having slept with and had relationships with a series of dancers in his shows, Victoria Porter, who he hired for the current show despite she not being the best dancer, in the former category, and Kate Jagger, his current girlfriend, in the latter category. The choreography is precise, the editing masterful, and the performances in sharp focus. That it did not win the Best Picture Oscar for its year was an absolute tragedy. Fosse saw the same fate coming to himself, and indeed it found him in 1987. This is Bob Fosse doing a movie about himself and showing his life in an extremely negative light. To think that Fosse synthesized musical theater, artistic obsession, relationships, fatherhood, and satire all within the framework of a deconstructionist film musical and made it all about himself to boot including predicting the manner of his own death without being the least bit self-congratulatory is amazing.
When we meet him, he's currently putting the finishing touches on a film he's just directed, and he's beginning work on a new Broadway musical. The man looks absolutely exhausted. I have never seen a movie like this which shows us the deepest dreams of a man in show business and his own cinema, and of course his own family and his own love. Some films are being honored to get Palme d'or but this film has gloried the Palme d'or. The editing and cinematography is some of the most imaginative of any musical, the costumes are rich in colour and the art direction is wonderfully opulent. The songs are ones that you will have no trouble remembering, Take Off With Us being the highlight.
Then, when you're done, you need to make it even sexier. Although Joe Gideon truly bombed in his relationship bag, he blew the top off in everything else he did. This is a film about life and death. Gideon is a womanizing, drug abusing, perfectionist who begins each morning with the same routine. I think this is a given in a Bob Fosse film, but every single one is breathtaking. Remember this is the same director that showed us Dorothy Stratton's face getting blown off with a shotgun in Star 80. Jessica Lange is beautiful in an early role as the Angel of Death imagine Fosse explaining that role to her! Fellini's constant self-deprecation felt like honest self-criticism, and it felt as if he was truly exposing his inner self to his audience.
It seems to be a person who has made this film, is drunken the cup of life to the end. We see him confess his life's sins to Jessica Lange who plays an angel waiting to usher him into the afterlife once he finally succumbs to his medical problems. We often wish exceptional individuals would stick around longer, but then again it's the way they live that makes them so exceptional. Fosse presents his alter ego, Joe Gideon well played by Roy Scheider , as a lovable cad. The film is edited beautifully; choreographed flawlessly; lit with stark colors that almost fade to black and white at times; and acted with heart and verve, especially by Roy Scheider.
Overall, a wonderful, if somewhat divisive, musical and one of Fosse's best alongside Cabaret. Fosse, who also co-wrote the script with Robert Alan Arthur, encapsulates his own hectic life into a patently self-indulgent movie with unmistakable style and verve and isolated moments of sheer brilliance. Simply put, this is a well-constructed film. Some films are more than a film and i think this is one of them. This is probably why the scenes with his wife and daughter are among the best, because they're the only ones that don't get interrupted by glitter and gaudiness. We can only hope soon. He doesn't ask for forgiveness, he doesn't try to justify Gideon's behavior, and he certainly didn't encourage Scheider to be sympathetic.