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Nine


Occasionally I also review movies on this blog and, lately, it appears the books have taken over because it's been a long, long time since I've reviewed a movie. Recently I sat through the movie/musical Nine; I'm not sure why I sat through the entire movie because that's two hours of my life I'll never get back. I was hoping that the end would explain a couple things and that would make the whole two hours worth it. It didn't and it wasn't.

Nine is the latest movie musical directed by Rob Marshall of Chicago fame; he had a huge, critically acclaimed hit with that one. Not so much of either with Nine. Nine is based on a Broadway play, and it stars Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Oscar winners all, but even they couldn't save it. The immensely talented cast, specifically and especially the women, are disappointingly and sadly wasted, and they all deserve better than this.

Guido Contini, an unlikeable and unsympathetic character, is a famous writer-director in Italy; he's made art, he's had hits that subsequently brought him fame, and then he's had his last two movies that were huge flops. These only serve to intensify the extreme pressure upon him to produce not just another movie, but another hit, another return to the art that characterized his earlier career. Too bad a case of writer's block is keeping him from writing the script for his newest movie that's due to start shooting in a week. That's right. A week. The star's lined up; the sets have been built; costumes are ready; producers have invested in the movie; hell, they've even got a title for this movie. But without a script there is no movie. And therein lies the problem.

The deterioration of Guido's professional life mirrors the deterioration of his personal life and as both crumble around his ears one has to ask: what's the point? There are hints in flashbacks to his childhood, but these are never fully realized. What's the point of these flashbacks? What's the point of these glimpses into his inner life and daydreams that are manifested in musical numbers? What is the point? These questions are never answered by the end of the movie leading to a disappointed viewer who feels as if she's wasted the last two hours.

I don't recommend this movie except only for the hardcore, die hard musical fans out there. Everyone else will be disappointed.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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