Nine (2009)

You’re a world class liar, darling. Go out there and lie for Italy. Lie for Italia.

— Liliane La Fleur

Based on the Broadway musical, Nine was taken from Federico Fellini’s film 8 1/2. Director Rob Marshall tries to implement the same tactic of having the musical numbers be a part of a characters imagination translated. It makes you wish that he did this movie first then his previous Oscar winning effort, Chicago.

A down in the dumps Italian director, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is reeling that his last two movies have flopped. He is scrambling to write a script for his next movie, “Italia” before productions begins in ten days. Guido’s producing partner, Dante (Ricky Tognazzi) is urging Guido to get out of his funk and put pen to paper.

The Italian press grills Guido to get some secrets about the movie that doesn’t have a script. Guido is running himself so ragged that retreats into his memories and fantasies to find some inspiration for the movie. Most of the musical numbers are sung on the half-constructed set on Cinecitta sound stage. Guido tries to rely on the women he had met in his life to get a creative spark.

He seeks the advice of his long-time costume designer and confidant Liliane “Lilli” La Fleur (Judi Dench) to find out what to do about the movie. She could only give him encouraging words to get the creative juices flowing.

Guido tries to get away from the pressures of movie by going to the Bellavista Hotel away from Rome. He calls his long-suffering wife, Luisa (Marion Cotillard) to try to join him at the hotel, but he reconsiders the request. He decides to calls his mistress, Carla (Penélope Cruz) instead. They rekindle their affair as Guido’s muse for his earlier movies, Claudia (Nicole Kidman) demands to see a script before shooting a single frame.

Guido is worked up from stress about the movie that he makes himself sick. He retreats more into his past to try to find a single fragment of something that could be the basis of his movie, including schmoozing with a Vogue writer, Stephanie (Kate Hudson), having conversations with his dead Mamma (Sophia Loren), and a local hooker, Saraghina (Fergie) to teach him about love.

Most of the musical numbers were flat, except for “Cinema Italiano”, “Be Italian” and Marion’s songs, “My Husband Makes Movies” and “Take It All.” She was the only person in the movie that I felt any emotion towards me. Penelope is getting all the attention, but I think that if the Academy vote Marion in supporting I would be happy with that result.

Judgment: It’s not Chicago. See this movie for Marion’s performance.

Rating: ***1/2

About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 2, 2010, in 2009, Academy Award Nominee, Comedy, Musical, Romantic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. There is a quote I need ASAP from NINE. so in the scene where they are screening the movie , at the end the wife realizes her husband tells girls the same things to them as he did to her. What is that quote ? It was like an intense moment?
    thanks so much

    • Here is the scene that I found online. I hope this helps.

      LUISA: Thank you.
      GUIDO: What for?
      LUISA: Thank you for reminding me I’m not special. You don’t even see what you do, do you? Even the moments I think are ours, it’s just you working to get what you want.

      GUIDO: What are you talking about? The screen test? You have to understand, it’s nothing, this is what I do, I direct. That’s my job.
      LUISA: And this is our life. You think to create is to forgive yourself in public. Fine. But don’t think I can forgive you in private, because I can’t ever.

      You’re just an appetite, and if you stopped being greedy you’d die. You take everything, and I’m empty. You know, I’m glad I came. I can see now… it’s hopeless…

  2. Marion really was just fantastic in this movie and should be getting a lot more praise for it. Especially that Penelope Cruz is getting a lot of attention, when Marion should be getting that. “Take It All” was definetly a stand out moment for me.

    • I agree that “Take It All” was the best song of the movie. I believe that was written for the movie. I don’t believe that it was in the original B’way musical.

  3. Yay! Someone who didn’t completely hate this movie! I agree that Marion did a really good job in this one! Although I don’t understand why they are pushing “Cinema Italiano” …I really don’t like the song and the whole scene didn’t fit into the movie.

    • I have no idea why people are shitting on the this movie. It does have it’s flaws mainly with the story. The songs are supposed to be expressing their love for Guido. I didn’t feel that, but I had a great time with the movie.

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