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★★☆☆☆

“All that glitters is not gold! ”

Written on: 10/02/2010 by erena (102 reviews written)

All that glitters is not gold!
When I see a movie poster abundant of celebrity sparkling stars I can't help but rush into the cinema once the movie is released. No wonder I couldn't wait to see Nine, the new musical film by Chicago director Rob Marshall. Penelope Cruz alone is a great advertising face for it, not to mention the other Hollywood glamour.
When I went to see it though, I left the room a bit disappointed.
Nine has a long history! It goes back in 1963 when Federico Fellini released a semi- biography film called 81/2 which in 1982 Arthur Koopit adapted into a book and a Broadway musical called Nine. After 27 years, in 2009, Rob Marshall decides to gather a handful of exceptionally good- looking and talented actresses hoping that his production will surpass the former glory of Fellini's film and the Broadway musical.
I wasn't impressed!
The film follows the life story of the well known Italian film director Guido Contini (portrayed by Daniel Day- Lewis) who is going through a midlife crisis. This crisis reflects on his creativity and his personal life which seems to be hugely influenced by women. There is his wife (Marian Cottilard), who he loves but constantly cheats on, his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his muse (Nicole Kidman), the journalist who tries to seduce him (Kate Hudson), his costume designer (Judi Drench) who keeps giving him confidence, his late mother who he is still able to see (Sophia Lauren).
Although all these actresses are excellent, the film itself was cold, untouching and lacking emotions. Being influenced without ability to control yourself is a great personal drama and this should have been emphasised a lot more in the plot. Instead we have a quite cheerful song/ dance by Fergie who plays the prostitute who has lead to Guido's reliance on women in his life. Musical films are supposed to develop the characters with the songs, they are expected to bring that more drama which lacked in Marshall's Nine. One should come out humming after a film musical show. I left as if I just watched another predictable romantic comedy.
May be I expected too much but I guess that is what every audience would expect once seeing all the casting.
One good point- the choreography is exceptional!

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★☆☆☆☆

“If the box office take for this movie is measured...”

Written on: 02/02/2010 by dhayes22 (54 reviews written)

If the box office take for this movie is measured against the stellar cast than surely it must be one of the biggest flops in history. This movie has more Oscar winners in the cast than perhaps any other movie in recent history - with six Academy Award winners and one nominee among the main cast including Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren and Marion Cotillard and Kate Hudson. The only main cast member who doesn't have an Oscar nomination is Stacey Ferguson, the singer from the Black Eyes Peas who is actually gives one of the best performances in the film.

The film is based on the musical eight and a half which is about an Italian film producer and the woman in his like; his mother, wife, mistress, leading lady, costume designer and on and on. It was a huge hit in the 1980s on Broadway, the film's director is Rob Marshall who made the movie of Chicago and as I said the cast is amazing so by most sensible estimates is should have been a hit.

But it's terrible. The story is all over the place, if you can even really call it a story. The characters are really two-dimensional. The dialogue is weak and the majority of the musical numbers fall flat. Only two of the numbers really work - those by Kate Hudon and Stacey Ferguson. The rest are really dull and lacklustre. And only the performance of Judi Dench is worth watching.

The weakest links are Nicole Kidman (what happened to her?) and, surprisingly, Daniel Day Lewis who is deeply unlikeable as the lead male who is supposed to be an irascible, charming Italian but just comes across as a loser.

One to avoid

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