6.7/10
6,365
71 user 60 critic

Nine Lives (2005)

Captives of the very relationships that define and sustain them, nine women resiliently meet the travails and disappointments of life.

Director:

Rodrigo García

Writer:

Rodrigo García
9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elpidia Carrillo ... Sandra
Aomawa Baker Aomawa Baker ... Female Guard
Miguel Sandoval ... Deputy Sheriff Ron
Mary Pat Dowhy Mary Pat Dowhy ... Nicole
Andy Umberger ... Second Male Guard
K Callan ... Marisa
Chelsea Rendon ... Sandra's Daughter
Robin Wright ... Diana (as Robin Wright Penn)
Jason Isaacs ... Damian
Sydney Tamiia Poitier ... Vanessa
LisaGay Hamilton ... Holly
Holly Hunter ... Sonia
Stephen Dillane ... Martin
Daniel Edward Mora ... Receptionist
Molly Parker ... Lisa
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Storyline

Captives of the very relationships that define and sustain them, nine women resiliently meet the travails and disappointments of life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every life has a story. And every story has a life of its own.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, brief sexual content and some disturbing images | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

2 September 2005 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

9 vite da donna See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,387, 16 October 2005

Gross USA:

$478,830

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,591,523
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the film was largely overlooked by moviegoers, critical reaction was generally favorable and both Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper included it on the year end top 10 lists. See more »

Goofs

In the "Sonia" chapter a camera mans arm is visible in the mirror on the floor in the living room. See more »

Quotes

[Lorna and Lisa casually encounter in the Andrew's wife funeral]
Lorna: Hey.
Lisa: Hello, Lorna. How are you?
Lorna: I'm...
[chuckles]
Lorna: Did you- did you know her?
Lisa: Uh- yeah, we met at a yoga class.
Lorna: Small world.
Lisa: Yeah. We make it small when we want to.
Lorna: What do you mean?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonate N. 12 en Mi Bemol Majeur Op. 26, Marcia Funbre
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Abdel Rahman El Bacha
Courtesy of Promusic
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Technically impressive, but left me lukewarm
20 August 2006 | by marissas75See all my reviews

"Nine Lives" is a pretty unusual movie: nine slices of life, each a single shot, and each focusing on a female character. The stories are all quiet, everyday dramas, often ending before they achieve a complete resolution, and while a few of the themes are edgy, they're never treated with sensationalism. It's the polar opposite of the flashy, jokey, commercial Hollywood blockbuster.

Though characters reappear from one vignette to the other, these stories are connected more by theme than by character. There's an obvious theme about the roles that women play-- mother, daughter, sister, wife, etc.--and how these roles can conflict with one another and cause distress. In the first three stories, the main female character gets so distraught that she ends up crying--though a good challenge for actresses, this seems to reinforce stereotypes that women are weepy. Luckily, some of the other women are more resilient.

Also running throughout is a theme about the impossibility of communication, even between loved ones. Sometimes this theme is dramatized in subtle, effective ways, such as an imprisoned woman talking through glass when her daughter visits, or a teenage girl mediating between her parents. Other times this seems more contrived, especially the decision to make one character's ex-husband a deaf man who uses sign language.

Because of the recurring characters, "Nine Lives" is also one of those recent Los Angeles ensemble movies about how everyone is connected. (e.g. "Crash," "Magnolia.") Here the connections are clever but not especially profound. Having a puzzle like this to solve while watching the film helps hold your interest, but the puzzle feels incomplete. I was waiting for everything to come together at the end, but the last vignette, featuring Glenn Close and Dakota Fanning in a cemetery, has no characters from the other stories in it. Thematically speaking, though, it's not a bad way to end the movie.

Ultimately, "Nine Lives" shows that there are just as many pitfalls as pleasures in its unique style of film-making. It's wonderful to be reminded of the potential of long takes, how fluidly cameras can move nowadays and how well talented actors can sustain their performances. But while a typical movie would cut around the most mundane parts of life--people walking from one place to another, for example--"Nine Lives" has no choice but to show this. I also wished for more striking visual imagery or close-ups of the actors' performances, but due to these technical limitations, most of the movie is in medium or long shot.

Some people would claim that "Nine Lives" is inherently a great movie because it's not flashy or funny or commercial. But after seeing it, appreciating its technical qualities but feeling lukewarm about its overall effect, I've come to realize that flashiness is not always a bad thing. This is a movie that sorely needs some zest and energy in order to feel truly alive.


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