The Best Remake Since Peter Jackson's King Kong
"Nine" is a musical masterpiece like no other. Although I normally never condone or recommend remakes, this film seems to portray "8 1/2" fairly well. For those who don't know, "Nine" is essentially a remake of one of the films made by legendary director, Federico Fellini. However, unlike "8 1/2" where it used elaborate symbolism to display the internal conflict within the character, "Nine" uses songs to display the characters' internal demons and emotions. The film is about a prestigious Italian director, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), whom struggles to find happiness in both his personal and professional life. Engaging in various dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his own mother. Indeed, around this holiday season it truly pays to be Italian.
Daniel Day-Lewis really flexes his acting muscle on this one. Where his previous best films included him playing a strong antagonistic jerk in movies like "There Will Be Blood" and "Gangs of New York." In "Nine", he plays a slightly different kind of character. Sure, he's still a jerk for cheating on his wife, Luisa Contini (Marion Cotillard), but he's more of a sympathetic one. A man whom wants everything out of life, but afraid to make any kind of commitment to any one woman or thing in life, as he's scared he might miss an opportunity. A man that adores the attention of women, but he doesn't know even know how to love someone else. Constantly putting his various mistresses, like Carla (Penelope Cruz), through pain and heartache, as the film shows his obsession with sexuality dawning from his earlier childhood. Where him and a group of friends pay to watch a slutty girl, Saraghina (Stacy Ferguson), dance for them.
The songs in this movie flow perfectly into the film's main themes quite nicely. Allowing for the audience to feel and engage how each of the characters feel through the use of music. Plus, the lyrics and symbolism used during the songs help invoke the main protagonist's obsession with lust and fame, that it blinds him to what's truly important. Like Rob Marshall's "Chicago", this musical will leave audiences in awe. "Nine" is simply a beautiful story about a man trying to seek redemption for all his infidelity issues, while suffering through the pressures of directing a film. Which eerily enough resembles his own life ambitions and story.
Sadly, this film doesn't go into as much emotional and psychological depth as Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" , in which it delves into the mind of Guido's obsession with sexuality and insecurity issues more thoroughly. However, it's still a very entertaining film.
"Nine" may not have been as good as it's predecessor, but it's still one of the best remakes out there. Featuring great music and wonderful acting performances. "Nine" proves it's good to be Italian for the holidays.