Nine

"Very Good"

Nine Review


Based on Federico Fellini's 1963 classic 8 1/2, this musical has a nicely introspective tone as it follows a filmmaker struggling to move forward in his career after a few flops. The music isn't hugely memorable, but the characters are vivid.

Guido Contini (Day-Lewis) is a star director gearing up for his ninth movie.

The press is begging for details, and his producer (Tognazzi) wants to see the script. But with shooting starting in 10 days, Guido has yet to write a word.

Instead he's haunted by his muses: his patient wife Luisa (Cotillard), his needy mistress Carla (Cruz), his diva star Claudia (Kidman), his sardonic costume designer (Dench), a sexy Vogue journalist (Hudson), a woman from his past (Fergie) and his loving mother (Loren).

Marshall directs exactly as he did Chicago, putting the musical numbers on stage as surrealistic, introspective flights of fancy contrasted against the realistic scenes at Cinecitta studios and a seaside resort in 1965 Italy. This allows each actor to create two versions of their character: the purely dramatic one and a more colourful song-and-dance incarnation. This adds terrific insight into the characters and allows the cast to really go for broke.

And while the songs aren't showstoppers, they're at least performed with full-voiced passion. All of the actors have solos, and most enjoyable number is Hudson's go-go catwalk scene, which bursts with glittery energy. Dench gets a superb cabaret piece, and Cruz is fiercely sexy in hers. But it's Cotillard who nails all her scenes to perfection. She gets the two best numbers, including a raucous and bitter striptease, and also has the film's most complex character.

At the centre is Day-Lewis, gleefully channelling both Marcello Mastroianni (who played the role in 8 1/2) and Fellini himself. He throws himself into the role physically, taking us backstage to see both the creative process and the circus that surrounds the industry. Plus a strong comment on gender politics in a country ruled by men who are ruled by their women. And if the film as a whole feels cold and unmoving, without much of a message, it also has an enjoyably freewheeling tone. And it goes without saying that Fellini's original is still the masterpiece.



Nine

Facts and Figures

Genre: Musical

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th December 2009

Box Office USA: $19.6M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Co.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 37%
Fresh: 72 Rotten: 123

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Puppa Armbruster as Lilo, Sandra Atia as Susi, Ulrich Beiger as Hubert, Lilos Vater, Astrid Boner as Susis Mutter, Siggi Buchner as Mann auf Party, Kurt Bülau as Herr Klassmann, Marianne Dupont as Claudia, Flori Endlicher as Henschel, Jürgen Feindt as Otto, Katjas Vater, Walter Feuchtenberg as Polizeimeister Eckart, Angelika Hefner as Mädchen auf Feier, Gina Janssen as Petra Klassmann, Uschi Karnat as Elke Parsberg, Carina Kreisch as Schülerin, Ruth Küllenberg as Frau Klassmann, Heiner Lauterbach as Paul Bellmann, Rosl Mayr as Wirtin, Claus Obalski as Trauzeuge, Ursula Reit as Lilos Mutter, Ursula Maria Schaefer as Freundin von Lilo, Werner Singh as Mick, Uli Steigberg as 2. Polizist, Christine Szenetra as Katja, Claus Tinney as Wolfgang Ströhmeyer, Dagobert Walter as Horst, Elisabeth Welz as Selma, Katjas Mutter

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.