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.
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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
I have to declare that Fellini 8 1/2 is first on my list of favorite films so it is rather obvious that, as far as I'm concerned, any one that tries to mess with it will be received with a huge amount of resistance. On the other hand I have been perversely attracted to the musical version from its initial opening on Broadway years ago. Nine, both on Broadway and unfortunately of the new film, clearly show that today's culture has exhausted its own creativity and simply lost any shame in accepting the lack of an original idea.
From My Fair Lady to West Side Story or even A Little Night Music, many great musicals are based not on an original idea but on famous classics stories, books or films. Nothing wrong with that when the musical version adds a new layer, a twist to the vision of the original and the music brings a new vocabulary to tell the story.
The film of Nine doesn't feel so much as inspired on 8 1/2 but a real misappropriation of someone else's personal ideas. Whilst the change from screen to stage might have been challenging and innovative, the fact that we are now back to the same medium than the original makes more obvious the inadequacies of the concept as well as the poor talent of the Rob Marshall and his MTV School of film direction style. The use of memorable imagery in black and white in a scene such as the Saragena and the boys on the beach seems not a homage to the genius of Fellini but simply a blatant robbery that should have been protected by copyrights or at least by Marshall's self censorship.
The misconception was there from the start. The film as a musical simply does not work in any way. The music itself seems extremely banal and you know you are in shaky territory when you can tell exactly the next musical phrase or words in a song. Further more the introduction of the songs, the sudden jump from action to singing feels totally forced.
How on earth a talented a actor such as Daniel Day Lewis could ever have got involved in this mess of styles and accent with dubious content escape me. Did he really think he could pass as a reincarnation of Mastroianni or even as an Italian? It might sound odd but in the film not even Sofia Loren sounds convincing as an Italian!
Interesting that at the core of the original 81/2,there is actually the conflict of the creative process and the fear of not being able to say anything new or of value. What's could then be a better idea that cannibalizing Fellini's masterpiece and bringing its level to a lower common denominator in order to try to capture the interest of today's general audiences.
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