Posted by Ellen Carl aka Adventurous Chick on December 23, 2009
If you are already a musical fan, you might enjoy Nine. I, however, am not a big musical fan so I went to see it hoping that it would be transcendent. It was not. The star-studded cast drew me in. Daniel-Day Lewis, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, even Sophia Loren… how could I resist? But I left underwhelmed. Only Marion Cotillard gave what I considered an excellent performance.
Cotillard plays the long-suffering wife of Day-Lewis’s character, Italian film director Guido Contini. Shooting is about to start on Guido’s new film, but there’s just one problem, he hasn’t written a word of the script yet. His last two films were flops and he’s creatively and emotionally paralyzed. After facing a room full of skeptical reporters at a press conference, Guido escapes to a spa on the Italian coast. But he’s not alone for long. He has his mistress (Cruz) come to the town – but puts her up in crummy pension by the train station, so no one will catch on. Shortly after that his producer tracks him down and brings along the movie crew. Even an American reporter shows up and then finally his wife arrives. So much for his attempt to escape his problems.
Instead, Guido must face his emotional and creative crisis and he does so through a series of encounters – real and imagined – with the women in his life. These encounters are where most of the musical numbers come in. Most are just okay, fun but nothing that you’ll be singing in the shower the next morning. The two worth mentioning are Cruz’s burlesque number, which will go down as one of the sexiest ever on film, and Cotillard’s “My Husband Makes Movies,” which is the standout performance of the movie. As for Day-Lewis, he’s a great actor, but as a singer, well, he’s an actor, and unfortunately he’s playing a character that’s not very likeable. In fact, he’s a complete cad.
An unsympathetic hero and so-so musical numbers add up to not much to recommend. If you’re a die-hard musical fan, you might want to go, but even then it’s not a must see. If you’re not a die-hard musical fan, just skip it.