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Movie review - Nine

Updated on February 20, 2010

Nine is the new musical movie by Rob Marshall, who also did Chicago. But whereas Chicago was a big hit, Nine is received with mixed feelings. It tells the story of Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), a great Italian movie director. He used to make great films, but his last two movies were ‘flops’, as he describes it. Guido is about to make a new movie, but is struggling to find the inspiration for it. The many women in his life are his inspiration, but they also cloud his mind and block it from anything creative making it to paper.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays Guido Contini, and he is the only man in this movie (except for some minor male roles of course). He is not the one carrying the movie though, his leading lady and wife Luisa Acari (Marion Cotillard) is the star of this film. She is the one holding the story together as Guido flicks from his mistress (Penelope Cruz) to his muse (Nicole Kidman) to his mother (Sophia Loren) to his first woman, prostitute Saraghina (singstress Fergie), in a rather chaotic way. Marion Cotillard is the only one of all the girls to have two songs, one sweet and sad, one louder and more aggressive and she plays the betrayed wife very well. She loves Guido with all her heart, but he is depleting her of all that love until nothing else is left. The other two ladies that are absolutely amazing are Penelope Cruz, as his mistress Carla, and Fergie, as prostitute Saraghina. Fergie is of course a great singer. She doesn’t have any lines, but her song ‘Be Italian’ is the best one in the movie, and should be the theme song. Penelope Cruz is a great actress and she does a women scorned very well. She is the needy and naive mistress and has a very sexy dance act to go with her song. The other actresses just come and go throughout the movie, making it a bit chaotic and somewhat unorganised.

At times the movie is quite slow, and as a viewer you never develop the sympathy for Guido the director wants you too. At times I just wanted to grab him and thoroughly shake him, to tell him to just get on with writing his movie already. The sequence with Saraghina is a strange interruption of the story, going back to Guido’s past. It is almost as if they just put it in to get Fergie to sing, it does not have too much relevancy for the movie. It is one of the best parts of the movie though.

If you loved Chicago, you definitely have to see this movie. Unfortunately it is not as great. I certainly expected more from this all-star cast, including also, besides everyone already mentioned, Judi Dench and Kate Hudson. Kate Hudson is a great actress, but in this part she does not have the time to establish her character and she comes of a bit boring and fake. Her song and dancing is quite nice though. Judi Dench is great, and her song, where she is wearing a female type of penguin suit is great. Sophia Loren and Nicole Kidman look a bit too botoxed, and their scenes are not great. We know Kidman can do a lot better.

I still loved it though, I love the singing, the dancing and the costumes. So the fact that the songs and the dancing were pleasant to listen to and to look at, save this movie. So go watch it now.

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