So, I have a question: What’s up with all these movies with ridiculous amounts of actors? (See: “Valentine’s Day” and “Death at a Funeral”) With so many people, these movie plots should come with instruction manuals. Luckily, “Nine” — a movie with more stars than the Milky Way — didn’t feel weighed down or overstuffed. Director Rob Marshall broke up the alarming about of talent (Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Fergie) into easily manageable vignettes and musical numbers. Check the jump for the rest of the review.
Day-Lewis was amazing. (Duh.) He can play a gritty oil tycoon one year and a flamboyant Italian moviemaker the next. And he can sing. He brought Guido Contini (inspired by Fredreico Fellini) to life, and we’ve never had more fun watching someone go nuts. He’s tormented, teased and tempted by the multiple women in his life. (Hence, all the actresses.) Cotillard shined as Contini’s faithful wife/faded starlet, and Cruz sizzled as Contini’s loony mistress. Kidman’s short scene was one of our favorite parts of the movie. Dench and Loren…well, what can we say besides “Bravo!” We’ll admit that even though we don’t personally care for Hudson or Fergie, they nailed their minor roles, too. The costumes (think Vogue circa 1966), the sets, the music and the choreography just heightened the drama.
Compliments aside, we just don’t think this one will rack up the as many awards as Marshall’s other Broadway-to-Hollywood masterpiece, “Chicago.” “Nine” was fun, but it didn’t translate as well to the screen. The story essentially became a movie-within-a-movie, which seemed a little awkward and tacky. One minute, we were inside Contini’s head, the next we were watching his real life unravel. The acting was great, but not Academy Award-worthy. (Some critics agree. And, well, others do, too.) This is classic movie lover’s movie. It’s also a musical lover’s movie. But it’s perfect for anyone who wants to take a fabulous two-hour foreign excursion. (And who doesn’t want to “Be Italian”?) (Photo: IMDB)