Sunday, December 27, 2009
Movie Reviews: NINE
Famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) grapples with epic crises in his personal and professional life. At the same time, he must strike a balance among the demands of the numerous women in his life, including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), and his confidant (Judi Dench).
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman
Opened December 25, 2009..
Runtime: 1 hr. 50 min.
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking
Director: Rob Marshall
Genres: Musical Drama, Musical
Rob Marshall’s Nine should be a home run. It’s got an Academy Award winning director and a cast that could light a night sky with star power. Unfortunately, it lacks power and emotion as it listlessly moves through its plot. Marshall brings the same energy and direction he brought to Chicago’s musical numbers; all of them here are lavishly done and visually impressive. Where Marshall falters is during the non musical segments, there is a visual disconnect and the actors seem just as disinterested as the director. It gets to the point where, during some of the slower portions, it becomes a chore to sit through them until the next song starts. Adding to the problem is what should have been the film’s strong point, its lead Daniel Day Lewis. Sadly, Lewis is miscast as the role and the singing just don’t fit this stellar actor’s talents. Lewis is at his best playing strong willed decisive characters and Guido is the exact opposite, he like a Hamlet in the 60’s. Lewis’s vocal talents are limited and his singing sounds more like spoken word poetry even at its best. His supporting starlets are a mixed bag as well. Penelope Cruz has a saucy fun number early on but disappears from the film quickly there after. Judi Dench belts out a serviceable French number in her portion and does a good job as the Guido’s friend and confidant. Kate Hudson has a small role as a flirty Vogue reporter and her number is surprisingly good. Nicole Kidman as Gudio’s muse has a nice little song and she once again shows off her impressive singing talents. The two standouts are Marion Cotillard and Stacy Ferguson aka Fergie from the Black Eye Peas. Marion Cotillard is given two numbers and she shows off her impressive local talents especially in the 2nd number. Fergie make the biggest impression singing her version of Be Italian with wonderful gusto. Her being the standout while being surrounded by some of the biggest movie talents is kind of a statement about this superficial homage to Fellini’s 8 ½. Nine should have been a meaningful movie that left a mark on our memory; instead it’s mostly forgotten as soon as you leave the theater.