Friday, February 26, 2010


Nine, based on a stage play, is a musical remake of Fellini's masterpiece 8 1/2 (a film which I saw a long time ago, did not understand, and probably need to revisit). The film involves a famous Italian director (Daniel Day-Lewis) who is suffering from writer's block on his latest project and is dealing with many of live's stressors, specifically women: a kind but untrusting wife (Marion Cotillard), a needy mistress (Penelope Cruz), his leading lady (Nicole Kidman), his costume designer (Judi Dench),  a starstruck journalist (Kate Hudson), and last but not least his mother (Sophia Loren). Nine was largely panned by critics upon release, but I found it to be entertaining. I enjoyed the director's struggles and his flashbacks to childhood. However, the musical numbers were uninspired and distracting. Director Rob Marshall's flashy style that worked so well in Chicago does not come off quite as successfully here. Daniel Day-Lewis is solid if not miscast in the lead, and Penelope Cruz offers solid work, though her supporting actress nomination is still baffling. Though I think this film would work better told in a traditional way, that I might enjoy it less had I been more familiar with 8 1/2, and despite its flaws, Nine is a film worth seeking out. How's that for a recommendation?