Movie Details

NINE

Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 18 Feb 2010
Genre: Romance / Musical
Running Time: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard
Director: Rob Marshall
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: “Moulin Rouge”, “Faubourg 36”, “Chicago”

To the great majority of the audience in this region who has never seen a Federico Fellini film, especially the 1963 black-and-white classic "8 ½" from which the Broadway adaption of this was spun off on, then "Nine" is a lavish, retro musical conceived by the director of "Chicago" who put Kate Hudson and Black Eyed Peas' Fergie in its cast lineup. To the rest, perhaps this outing will be mostly to admire Daniel Day-Lewis and his marvellous chameleonic roles, which include the one in this where he actually has a very decent voice!

Yes, the feared method actor manages to surprise us with a singing performance that's laudable (instead of laughable, like Pierce Brosnan who moaned like a water buffalo in "Mamma Mia") and our last Mohican goes from his memorable turn as a power-crazy oil man ("There Will Be Blood") to an exhausted filmmaker in Guido Contini, a man, pushing 50 with 'a mind that's nearly 10' (as he sings and laments), not to mention a serious writer's block and plenty of women around him who seem to make it worse. Our maestro is joined by his tired wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his illicit lover Carla (Penelope Cruz), his muse Claudia (Nicole Kidman), his confidante (Judi Dench) and his glamourous mother (Sophia Loren), not to mention temptresses past and present in a seductive whore (Fergie) and a flirty fashionista (Kate Hudson).

Replacing Nina Rota's soundtrack is the half-inspiring music of Maury Yeston, who composed and wrote lyrics for the songs. They're not immediately memorable or outstanding but some numbers like 'Guarda La Luna' (Look At The Moon) sung by Sophia Loren does impress, whereas Kate Hudson's MTV-glossed 'Cinema Italiono' is entertaining. The highlight performance you've been hearing about is Cotillard belting the Oscar-nominated original song "Take It All", and deservedly so if you combine the power of that number with her own acclaimed powerhouse turn as French songbird Édith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose".

The whole experience is somewhat underwhelming despite a stellar cast that even lets us have another look at the fading stars of Sophia Loren and Judi Dench in their twilight years. You can watch "Nine" for the actors but if you're looking for a memorable musical, this simply misses the right note most of the time.


Cinema Online, 23 February 2010
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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