Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cabaret (1972) (2nd time)

A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them. [imdb]

Nominated for 10 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: Bob Fosse (WINNER)
Best Actress: Liza Minnelli (WINNER)
Best Supporting Actor: Joel Grey (WINNER)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography (WINNER)
Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation (WINNER)
Best Art Direction (WINNER)
Best Editing (WINNER)
Best Sound (WINNER)

Cabaret holds the distinction of winning most Oscars (8) without a Best Picture win among those. This happened because the Best Picture winner for 1972 was no other than The Godfather, so that makes sense. Even so, the musical won 2 acting Oscars and Best Director, over Coppola. Many would say that The Godfather has aged better, and I have to agree: while Cabaret is a nice musical, with plenty of funny moments, The Godfather is a true classic to me and an alltime favorite.

But I understand why Bob Fosse won Best Director: he does a nice job with the musical numbers and most of all knows how to keep it subtle and smart, with a great integration of historical events inside of what it seems to be a silly musical. More on Liza on the other blog, but she's certainly as charming as possible; the Joel Grey win is harder to agree on: he is great at what he does, but we basically know nothing about his character, which results in the performance being very one-note; yes, he's as entertaining as you'd see someone in a music video, but you wouldn't give them the Oscar for that: not when competing with Al Pacino or James Caan. Still, he really is almost-brilliant at what he does for the film.

Most of the songs are classics, Michael York is very nice to look at, Marisa Berenson should've received an Oscar nomination, but the film doesn't feel as focused or fun in the second half. I respect it, I like it, but I never fell in love with Cabaret.

My rating for the film: 8/10. Also, not all of the technical wins feel worthy.


  1. I think it was a sensible that they gave Director to this movie. It was like a make-up win for not giving it BP. And I have to agree with this decision for this reason. Cabaret is such a masterpiece. 10/10 for me. Forget the songs and the technical part: it brilliantly shows the decline of a society and the terrifying birth of a new one. Although I'm not that aquainted with Liza's career, I know that she knocks this performance out of the park. Brilliant and lovely (!) decadence, so much emotion, full of heart, lust and talent. And Joel Grey is astonishing at showing this period. Well-deserved Oscars for them (OK, Pacino is better than Grey but we both know he's leading and I just hate leads in the supporting category; one should take a chance).

    Still, The Godfather is an even bigger masterpiece and it would been an all-time shame if it had lost. An unbelievable film.

  2. I just don't know how you can't give Cabaret a 10.

    It's just a perfect blend of high camp and social awareness with flawless innovative choreography and sensational performances.

  3. According to AFI Cabaret is one of 100 greatest movies of all time and deservedly so! Everything is so flawless and perfectly put together although The Godfather rightly took BP Oscar. Joel Grey is iMO one of five best winners this category ever saw. (Pacino was equally deserving, but category fraud. I'm always against it)

  4. Anon: Am I suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder and I don't know??? :D Because that's exactly what I think.