MOVIE REVIEW

Nine

Nine
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Nine Nine is the latest Broadway musical adaptation from Chicago director Rob Marshall, and it might as well be Chicago 2. Itís clear that he has a specific formula, one which he copied from Chicago and pasted on to this latest film. That formula has characters wandering around in a story, displaced from the dancing and singing which make this a musical. In the real world itís cigarettes and dinner but in their heads itís a cavalcade of sight and sound which, in theory, is supposed to represent what theyíre thinking and feeling.

Except it doesnít work nearly as well here. These songs donít carry the weighted significance that the biggest moments in Chicago do. There is no ďMr. CellophaneĒ, instead several of the songs boil down quite literally ďI love moviesĒ and have nothing to say beyond that. The music is, beyond the pageantry of glitter and feathered costumes, a waste of time. In any good musical all the songs and dancing should actually mean something, they should serve the purpose of moving the plot along or giving us a greater understanding of our characters. In Marshallís movie musical formula though, that becomes even more critical since the song and dance numbers only exist to convey deeper information we, theoretically, canít get any other way. That doesnít happen in Nine, at best the musical moments serve as a recap of things we already know and at their worst theyíre just an interlude that gets in the way while we wait for more plot.

If only the plot were worth waiting for. Nine stars Daniel Day-Lewis as renowned Italian film director Guido Contini. Heís in the middle of making his new movie and things are pretty far along. Theyíre building sets, theyíve chosen a cast, costuming is well underway and the press is buzzing about what heíll do next. Just one problem: He doesnít have a script. Worse heís out of ideas and we follow Contini as he mopes around various sets looking for inspiration and obsessing over the beautiful women who make up the fabric of his life. Scratch that, thereís really not so much time spent looking for inspiration. Mostly itís Contini doing a lot of lusting when he probably should be writing instead.

When heís not lusting heís singing and unfortunately, Daniel Day-Lewisís attempt at an Italian accent makes his vocals sound like something from Jason Segelís Dracula rock opera in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Except Iím fairly certain Iíd have rather spent two hours watching a feature length version of an all puppet Vampire musical than to sit through an equal amount of this. At least thatís fresh, this feels like the leftover parts of everything thatís come before.

On the other hand, maybe if youíre not looking for anything deeper youíll enjoy Nine. It does contain many beautiful women in Rob Marshallís version of sexy lingerie (which for some reason always looks like it was chosen from a 1984 copy of Victoriaís Secret) writhing and dancing on various stages. Penelope Cruz puts the most effort into it, kicking and swinging around in her musical number like a crazed, sexed-up wildcat. Marion Cotillard, unlike the movieís other actresses, may leave you with the impression that she can actually sing while Nicole Kidman proves very good at standing in one spot and looking pretty. Even Kate Hudson is better than terrible, though it should be noted that she is, once again, in a terrible film. There has to be some connection. If youíre looking for women in feathered boas doing high kicks to an assortment of vintage sounding musical numbers then Nine delivers. So do the Rockettes. For the rest of us, hoping for something more, itís an utter failure.


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