TSPDT Greatest Films #281 Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
Set between the two World Wars and during the rise of the Nazis in Germany. Cabaret tells the story of a young man who went for a while in Berlin to teach English in a little rent where the star of a cabaret Sally Bowles stays too. Adapted from the Broadway musical show Cabaret as a traditionnal romance with musical numbers set between scenes. Some musicals numbers seem forced to fit in the story, because Bob Fosse did not used the numbers to tell the story à la Parapluies de Cherbourg but to illustre it with Cabaret numbers only. Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles gives an excellent performance and she overshadows the good performance of Michael York.
I generally like musicals but this one didn't charmed me. The numbers are confined to the cabaret and they have a lack of inventivity in the way they were chot and presented to the screen. I was waiting for much more than that. Some musical moments aren't necessary for the story and it's ok that they are not that long either.
The directing is traditionnal and unpersonnal for a film of the 1970's it felt very conservative...
Cabaret is uneven and, in my opinion, a deception. For fans of Liza Minnelli especially.
A Film Retrospective by Michaël Parent