Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, January 25, 2010


It's just about the worst time for movies in all of movie history right now. The money for independents has dried to a trickle, and the studios aren't interested in anything but remakes, re-imagining's or proven properties. It's a hard life for someone who is trying to do something even mildly original, even if they have been nominated for Oscar's for their previous work, and won countless other awards for the same work. Rob Marshall, apparently, believed that he could recapture the magic that he had with his hit stage to screen musical Chicago, in the Fellini inspired, hit Broadway musical, Nine. Unfortunately, when it didn't do as well as expected on its opening week, the studio pulled out of engagements all over the country, and now this thoroughly entertaining film will probably only be seen for the first time, by many, on DVD.

Nine is about about a director, Guido Contini (patterned after Italian director Federico Fellini), who is having a crisis trying to figure out what his next film is going to be. He has made a string of hits, and now, his production company is moving forward on his new project, a film for which he doesn't have an idea for, much less the script that everyone keeps demanding. He is forced to reckon with pretty much everyone in his life, and ESPECIALLY the many women of his life, before his creative muse will return.

Nine, I think, is a fun romp, especially for those who are fans of film history and enjoy Fellini. Daniel Day Lewis is exactly how you expect his character should be, Italian (or, at least what we think of as Italian) to his very core. The film boasts a number of incredible supporting roles, the best of which is Marion Cotillard as Contini's wife, who is constantly humiliated by his philandering ways. Penelope Cruz turns in a fun performance as Contini's mistress, and Judy Dench does a great job as one of Contini's right hand staffer's. It's hard to comment on the direction in a movie like this, because musical's are really a mixture of acting direction, choreography, and musical direction, which, most of the time, are taken care of by various people. I enjoyed Nine immensely, though, and do recommend it to people, though mostly to "film" people.

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