A reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born.

Director:

Edson Oda

Writer:

Edson Oda
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brandy Pitcher ... Amanda's Mom
Eric Ramaekers Eric Ramaekers ... Amanda's Dad
Eliza de Azevedo Brown Eliza de Azevedo Brown ... Amanda (8 Years Old) (as Eliza De Acevedo Brown)
Lisa Starrett ... Amanda
Jeffrey Hanson ... Conductor
Elizaveta Shaikhulina Elizaveta Shaikhulina ... Violinist
Winston Duke ... Will
Taran Marshall Taran Marshall ... Bully
Caleb Fralick Caleb Fralick ... Bully 2
Sterlin English ... Rick (14 Years Old)
Erika Vásquez ... Luiza (as Erika Vasquez)
Álvaro Cortez Álvaro Cortez ... Fernando (as Alvaro Cortez)
Benedict Wong ... Kyo
Cherie Julander ... Aunt / Cecily's Mom
Perry Smith ... Anne
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Storyline

Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV's of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates - unborn souls - arrive at Will's to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will.

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series | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Life Begins at the End

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2020 See more »

User Reviews

 
Nearly Perfect
5 November 2020 | by sweidman-28016See all my reviews

"You are all being considered for the amazing opportunity of life."

I'm speechless. This is what cinema should aspire to be. Nine Days tells the story of a reclusive man that conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born. Though it hasn't come out yet, the synopsis sounds very similar to the upcoming Pixar movie Soul. And it may be true that they're going for the same themes and emotion, but we wont know until Soul comes to Disney+. Nine Days strives to be something great even though it's independent and is limited by what it can do. They surprised greatness. This is truly brilliant. Writing and director Edson Oda took this idea and made the most of it through the writing, imagery, score, acting, and just the overall thought that goes into it. Everything is planned out for a reason.

Firstly, the screenplay is just remarkable. The idea is already interesting and they way it gets in your head is great. I'm a sucker for thought provoking films and other mediums so I may be a little bias. Beyond the story, though, the dialogue furthers this. It's clever, sentimental, and just so human. That's what it goes for. To be human is one of the most questioned things to a person. There's no right or wrong answer and it depends on each person. The way they explore this just fascinates me. The souls and the man watch the lives of humans via tv screens. They study these people to try and better understand what it means. At that point, I knew I was going to love the execution of everything. Describing the story and screenplay is hard without giving anything away and just what it all explores. All you need to know is every scene has the best writing that it possibly could and the ending scene is one of the best scenes I've seen in my lifetime.

Branching off of scenes, the acting is fantastic. Even with the lesser known actors, it's still a stacked cast including big names of Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, and Bill Skarsgård. I'd like to focus on two. The rise of Winston Duke is so interesting to me. His first film was Black Panther and ever since that he's become a household name. Not just because he's M'Baku in the MCU and the dad in Us, but because he's such a great actor. He's grown increasingly better with each role (even though he was already great in his first) and this is his best. Duke's character is the most distant from the others but he feels the closest to the audience for reasons that I won't go into. I mentioned the last scene earlier, but my jaw dropped because of his acting (and also just everything). I really want him to get recognized for big awards but I'm not so certain that it will happen. In a few month we might know. Continuing with rising actors, Zazie Beetz is just fantastic. She has a big role with her character. The dialogue and just her character in general brings the most provoking thoughts. As her character progresses, these questions and morals about being human increase. I loved her in every scene, especially with Winton Duke and Benedict Wong. And once again, the last scene brings so much. There really isn't a single mediocre performance. The ensemble does a great job and the casting couldn't be any better.

Edson Oda takes a most outstanding direction. That comes down to these certain scenes that I'd rather not spoil. With a limited budget and all that, he goes to more practical solutions. Part of that is using a stage, set, and props. It's so beautiful what they did. The experience feels so real. The utilization of blocking and the use of the stage leaves me without words. If I was given this project or anyone else for that matter, I highly doubt we could've come up with the same idea that Oda did. I'm going to keep coming back to the same word, but it's just so amazing. And it's clearly shown that he's a stickler for visuals. Everything is done visually. The display itself tells a story. So he uses the stage, the old CRT TVs, and projectors. Red, blue, and green are the main colors of influence throughout. Using your art class knowledge, that's just a smart decision to use those. The cinematography brings out those colors at certain times, but also brings out the more pale, subtle colors. The ending scene (once again) has a beautiful sunset that's amazingly shot. The colors of the sky next to the one color of the desert setting looks great together.

Nine Days is a nearly perfect film. If I had one minor issues, it's that the beginning is just a tad bit slow. This might change upon next viewing and prove to be a perfect film. For now I'm going to keep that in mind. I just can't express this film in words. Like the film, the visuals tell it all. I'd love to see this get awards buzz but I'm not exactly sure if it will happen. If it does I don't think it will be discussed until its release in early next year (I believe). This was probably a confusing and painful review to read, but I have one thing to say: Thank you.


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Release Date:

27 January 2020 (Brazil) See more »

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