Nine

2010-03-16 14:22
 
Nine

What it's about:

A vibrant and provocative musical that follows the life of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day Lewis) as he reaches a creative and personal crisis of epic proportion, while balancing the numerous women in his life, including his wife, his mistress, his film star muse, his confidante and costume designer, an American fashion journalist, the whore from his youth and his mother.

What we thought:
 
The nerds on IMDB don’t like Nine. Well stuff 'em, I say, because Rob Marshall’s tasteful film makes his own Chicago look like Mr Bones: The Musical.

Nine is based on Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit’s stage musical of the same name , itself an adaptation of Federico Fellini’s . The great Italian director, Guido Contini, is expected to make a triumphant comeback to the director’s chair, but finds himself without a script even as shooting is about to begin. His love life, a sticky web which many mistresses lay claim to, also threatens to collapse. The lyricised drama unfolds in glamorous 1960s Italy, then still the darling of worldwide film audiences.

What keeps the glam from turning into Eurotrash is the unfaltering star power of Daniel Day Lewis, Penélope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. Day Lewis, surely as demented as ever in his Method acting preparation for the role, assumes the crushing weight of expectation on Contini’s shoulders with flair we never suspected him of having. Imagine the heartless bastard in There Will Be Blood bursting into song, or doing a jig... you can’t can you?

Cotillard, the wounded bird who has stuck with her husband through infidelities innumerable, doesn’t sing our socks off, but instead beams dignity from every pore of her skin and is quite comfortable in her biggest role since La Vie En Rose. Cruz is predictably smoking as Contini’s passionate mistress, taking a leaf from Sophia Loren’s playbook (who plays Contini’s mother).

Like Chicago, Marshall returns to elaborately conceived theatre stages for the most important musical moments in the film. Conventional film buffs may fault him for piercing the veil of reality in his films, but really, the dreamlike sequences in (often empty) theatres and studios allow us our most intimate conversations with the film’s characters. Nine’s lyrics being as poignant, as clever and as revealing as they are, the movie’s best moments come precisely when the audience is not quite sure when, or where, they are.


Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.

Ulrike 2010/03/14 10:50 PM
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Little substance in the film, but at least a few stars to gawk at.
PRESHEN GOVENDER 2010/03/15 10:22 AM
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great eye candy who need a story
Adriaan 2010/03/15 4:11 PM
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a like minded crtic xxx
Jean 2010/03/16 8:49 AM
If Daniel Day Lewis is in this movie, I'll watch it. Damn... cause I HATED Chicago and was planning to give this a skip.
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