iksvecjart’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm tired as hell, so I'm just going to categorise the good and the bad.
Liza Minnelli is perfect. The rest of the cast (bar the MC, but I suppose he's just doing his job) do very well as well, but this is certainly Minnelli's movie.
The music is great, excluding one excruciating number.
The production design is spectacular.
The central romance between Sally and Brian doesn't work: it stagnates for 90 minutes while threatening to actually go places. Their relationship stays the same for so bloody long that the ending doesn't feel rich with emotion at all. Brian's just a boring person all round, and Sally's vibrancy isn't enough to spark any palpable chemistry between the two. The parts are acted well, but it's like trying to forcibly connect two incompatible jigsaw pieces. Despite what the film tells us, they're not for each other and they should really move on before they waste any more of our, or their, time.
That "money" number is AWFUL. I mean, truly dreadful. The music is the worst in the film, and the way it is choreographed makes it torturous to watch.
The MC is really, really, really annoying and I wish he would stop. Totally unnecessary for the film, and just really, really, really annoying.
The Maximilian subplot adds extra runtime to the film with no satisfactory payoff at the end. In other words, he wastes time, and makes the film bloated.
The Nazi subplot feels tacked on, and doesn't gel with the rest of the movie. It's nowhere near as egregious as the ending of "The Sound of Music" which is just downright disgraceful, but it feels like it's there just to make Brian look suuuuper righteous. It doesn't work. He's still uninteresting.
This is a wholly underwhelming film, and it would have received way more hate had it defeated "The Godfather" for Best Picture at the Oscars. A boring musical which denies the magic that the genre can conjure through extreme literalism, made even worse by the fact that it was clearly an inspiration for the Best Picture winner 30 years afterwards, which was even worse.