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Friday, April 16, 2010

[5.50/10] Nine (2009)


Nine (2009)

There's a lot of style in Rob Marshall's "Nine", a great cinematography and A-list cast, but the film is marred by countless disappointments. The songs are instantly forgettable, despite all the energy obviously put into them. There's just not enough there to work with. The choreography of the dancers is pretty bland. None of the principles are even halfway convincing as Italians, making all the film's talk about Italian culture and cinema seem pretty hypocritical. The performances vary pretty much: Daniel Day-Lewis helms the picture as Guido Contini, an Italian director looking for inspiration for his next film. Day-Lewis gives a solid effort which we haven't seen from him before but in comparison to his previous work, he doesn't elevate the material as often or doesn't translate his musical numbers like he should. Marion Cotillard is easily the most sentimental and profound player in the entire picture playing the heartrending Luisa, Guido's adulterated wife. What Cotillard has demonstrated beyond any type of acting capacity, a sexy, stylish, and devastating performance. Penélope Cruz's role was beautifully performed, but was too abruptly chopped off. Nicole Kidman felt like she was there against her will. Her performance was pale and her presence was spiritless. Dame Judi Dench was classy and fun. You feel that she's probably the one who most enjoyed her role, but was in a way limited by the script. Sophia Loren's very short appearances were nicely executed. Kate Hudson did what she could, which is not to say much, in the unchallenging small role of the American fashion journalist. Fergie was enjoyable in her number 'Be Italian'. Despite its narrative inadequacies, "Nine" impresses on a visual level. The costumes are gorgeous and numerous, the main set is epic but believable and lends itself well to the various musical numbers. The technical construction is impressive, particularly during the songs. "Nine" is definitely an instance of style over substance, which isn't necessarily surprising in the musical genre. It's just unfortunate that such a vast pool of talented actors didn't get better material to work with.

  • My Rating: 5.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 37% (5.0/10)
  • IMDb: 6.3/10

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maury Yeston, composer of the songs of NINE, won a Tony Award (Broadway "Oscar") for his score when the musical first went onstage in NYC. The idea that these songs are "instantly forgettable" is purely this critic's personal opinion, and have nothing to do with the facts. Yeston is a highly respected composer; the songs do what they're supposed to do, which is open up characters. Sorry -- no cigar.

nebular said...

I don't care what Yeston won for his "Nine" songs, because most of them really didn't sound that great. I don't blame him for that! I think the problem is THE PERFORMANCES and the performers. Day-Lewis, in particular, is a great actor, but terrible singer. And it showed. On the other hand, Marion Cotillard did GREAT with the singing and performing.
Thanks for the comment.

DEZMOND said...

I must admit, I never expected much from this movie. Rob Marshall has proven many times before (CHICAGO, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA) that he has a flawless visual style, but cold and frigid directorial vision. His movie have visual beauty but no heart and soul. And I agree with you, Neb, that I would never pay to see Daniel Day Lewis sing :))

nebular said...

The truth is, I haven't seen "Chicago". Yeah, I know... shame on me! :) I loved "Memoirs of a Geisha". Despite it was 'soapy', I thought it was gripping and visually breathtaking, although I hated the fact that in a movie about geishas, half of the cast are chinese and they spoke English at all times. It didn't feel very authentic :) I agree about Rob's movies - they are mostly beautiful on the outside , but empty within.

nebular said...

Oh, and believe me, Dez, despite I absolutely love Daniel Day Lewis, his singing was horrific!:)

DEZMOND said...

yep, that was the problem with GEISHA - it looked like a cosmetic commercial, an advertisement for silky lipsticks and rosy perfumes :) All beautiful and fragrant, but it's just make-up and nothing much else.

nebular said...

Witty and funny comparison! :) It made me laugh hard!:) "Geisha" has to be the most expensive cosmetic commercial ever :)