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Lenny (1974)

Director:
Bob Fosse
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama/Comedy/
Biography
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Lenny
RUNNING TIME
111 minutes
Producer:
Marvin Worth
Screenwriter:
Julian Barry


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Lenny Bruce Dustin Hoffman
Honey Bruce Valerie Perrine
Sally Marr Jan Miner
Artie Silver Stanley Beck

 

Review

Bob Fosse's follow-up to his award-winning Cabaret is a clever, expertly directed documentary-style biopic about the controversial and way-paving comedian Lenny Bruce. Dustin Hoffman stars in the title role with an attention-grabbing head-on approach which would have convinced Hoffman's remaining doubters that he was a complete actor - one of the very best in a very strong period for American cinema and acting. Fosse's black-and-white cinematography and pragmatic, almost muffling approach to the humour which necessarily has to play a prominent role when portraying the life of a comedian makes you wonder if he was afraid his film would generate too much entertainment value to be taken seriously. As a consequence of this, and of Lenny's often troubled life, the film is almost drained of joy. So where does the entertainment value lie? Well, in the wit and sarcasm. And in Fosse's unequivocal appraisal for Lenny Bruce's mind and courage. The film is reminiscent in plot and structure to Milos Forman's 25 years junior Man on the Moon, a film about another courageous and pioneering comedian, Andy Kaufman. One might well say that Lenny is the darker and more serious older brother of Forman's more outright hilarious film.

 

Copyright 7.10.2011 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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