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.
Arrogant, self-centered movie director Guido Contini finds himself struggling to find meaning, purpose, and a script for his latest film endeavor. With only a week left before shooting begins, he desperately searches for answers and inspiration from his wife, his mistress, his muse, and his mother. As his chaotic profession steadily destroys his personal life, Guido must find a balance between creating art and succumbing to its obsessive demands. Written by
The Massie Twins
Let's just start by saying this: Nine is one of the best of 2009. Not to be confused with District 9 and 9, Rob Marshall does a splendid job bringing the Broadway musical of the same title to the screen. The whole main cast is great at acting as well as singing. The movie is also an adaptation of Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 and it's a nice homage to that as well.
My only criticism of Nine is that it has a very loose plot. The small plot that is present is still quite good. It follows Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), an aging director who has reached a breaking point in his life when he realizes everything is spiraling out of control. His movies have turned bad over the last few years and he is hopelessly in love with nine women who very important to him. The female cast includes his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his costume designer (Judi Dench), a prostitute from his childhood (Fergie), an American fashion designer (Kate Hudson), his muse (Nicole Kidman), and his mother (Sophia Loren). The film also marks one of Anthony Minghella's last screenplays.
Though the cast is mostly responsible for why the movie is so great, it's also Rob Marshall's direction. Anyone who has seen Chicago will know that his type of movie involves sexy women writhing and twisting as the dance (and not in a bad way). Nine is quite similar, but Nine made me feel as though I was actually sitting in a Broadway theater watching a Broadway musical. Anthony Minghella's snappy script, the art direction, and the cinematography are just some of the things that make Nine such a sensory overload. Marshall also even brings the cast out at the end for bows.
The most important thing in movie musicals is the singing and dancing. Nobody needs to be worried about these things in Nine. Every cast member sings and dances beautifully with the exception of Kate Hudson whose voice is unfortunately changed for the trailer. Daniel Day-Lewis is a surprisingly good singer and dances pretty nicely too. The two great numbers are "Be Italian" and "A Call to the Vatican". Fergie totally rocks her number in which she plays an overweight prostitute and Penelope Cruz blew me away with her sexy number involving a striptease. Yet it really is Marion Cotillard who "takes it all" (no pun intended). I've been watching Marion Cotillard since she first starred in La Vie En Rose and it's fortunate that she's finally begun to star in big movies. Hopefully she'll get more recognition now.
The bottom line is Nine is great. Though the film does get a bit tiresome midway through, the songs are energetic and make you remember why you love it. Rob Marshall does a great job directing his stars and the art direction and cinematography are sure to win some awards. Every actor who is part of the main cast sings well and the choreography is very nice. Rob Marshall has done it again with Nine and I totally look forward to seeing it take home awards on Oscar night.
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