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.
Posted on January 2, 2010, in 2009, Academy Award Nominee, Comedy, Musical, Romantic and tagged Daniel Day-Lewis, Fergie, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Nine, Penélope Cruz, Ricky Tognazzi, Rob Marshall, Sophia Loren. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.