A certain "patness" can be forgiven in what is, essentially, a breakthrough project. Isherwood, in his work, insisted upon the very "ordinariness" of queer sexuality, and the fact that the characters' sex lives are only the "leaping off" point for this film exactly catches his spirit. That said, there is a curious kind of "celebrity spotting" that occurs here. "Oh THAT must be Sally Bowles", and "There's Mr. Norris", which is rather distracting. Also, the agenda of the film posits that Isherwood changed from "observer" to "activist" because of his time in Berlin. That is not quite true. Isherwood always remained an observer, but because of his refusal to bow to homophobia, he is remembered and lauded as a true pioneer. As far as Matt Smith is concerned, who seems to be the subject of much criticism on this page, his portrayal is somewhat cold, supercilious, persnickety and self-involved (at least at first). In other words, entirely probable.
For anyone wanting to know the basis of the film and musical Cabaret, you'll be interested in this movie. It's a faithful film version of Christopher Isherwood's life in Berlin in the early '30's. That being said, you appreciate even more what Bob Fosse did with the characters. Though the film Cabaret isn't the way Isherwood wrote it word for word, it's a genius piece of art nonetheless. This film suffers from casting, the 2 leads cant compare with Liza Minnelli and Michael York, the camera work and production are the bit on the low budget side and the direction is sub standard.
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