Nine (2009)

Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a movie director who lives an italian lifestyle of luxurious clichés, and wanders too often through his restless imagination – the refuge of a man trapped by his own lies. He’s surrounded by seven charismatic and sublime women: his mother (Sophia Loren), his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), a prostitute (Fergie), a friend (Judi Dench), his muse (Nicole Kidman) and a reporter (Kate Hudson). He is also going through a crisis; he has nothing left to say.

With a cast like this, one would think that Rob Marshall (the director of the acclaimed musical Chicago) would allow these actors to do what they do best. However, every time they try to act, an apparently random song forces its way into the scene, and through its pointlessness leaves no room for a good script. Nine does wonders to your senses, but that is, sadly, pretty much it. 

Yes, the songs will stay with you for weeks (edit: it’s been years and I can still listen to that 

infectious soundtrack), the performances are flawless, and it is a visual feast with shots and scenes that you’ll have a hard time forgetting, but there is nothing more to it. Rob Marshall’s talent to create the most dashing spectacle of all makes watching Nine truly frustrating, for all its beauty is nothing but an empty shell that the actors so desperately tried to fill. But it’s hopeless.

edit: it reminds me of Chicago‘s line Long as you keep ’em way off balance / How can they spot you’ve got no talent? Razzle Dazzle ’em!”.

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