Commentary - Nine

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I fell in love with the trailer for the movie musical Nine, because it appeared to be a visual feast for the eyes. In my opinion, Director, Rob Marshall, Cinematographer, Dion Beebe, Costume Designer, Colleen Atwood, Production Designer, John Myhre along with the Set Decorator, Makeup Department and Art Direction created the look of a magazine; very glossy, international, mixing styles, trends and eras in alluring arrays.

I've read approx. 10-12 reviews of Nine today, both from critics and moviegoers, a few give a back handed compliment to the visual aspect of the film, but most just want to hate this movie entirely. Some hate that most of the musical numbers are staged on the same set. I felt this was clever as the lead Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is desperately trying to come up with a script for a movie that has sets, costumes and much expectation, but no actual dialog or story. So as he seeks inspiration from the women in his life, he imagines each of them on that set.

Most despise the score, others hate that new songs were added. I've never seen a musical yet where every song is memorable. Fergie's belting out of "Be Italian" is a show stopper! I used to be a hostess at a Cabaret night club, so I was already familiar with a couple of the songs "In A Very Unusual Way" sung beautifully by Guido's muse Claudia (Nicole Kidman) and "My Husband Makes Movies" expertly brought to life by Guido's wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard) in fact, the only thing that all critics and moviegoers found agreeable was how stellar Cotillard is throughout; which I must agree, she has a truly lovely quality that rivals Audrey Hepburn.

In fact, the focus of the film is the women, perhaps a bit objectified, but I can't object to that. I love seeing women at their most fetching and each one in this film, those mentioned above, along with Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Lauren, and even Dame Judith Dench are fabulously showcased.

A number of critics think Daniel Day-Lewis was miscast, perhaps not the best singer, but he wasn't awful. Think about Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady" everyone let him get away with so called singing. Some critics say his part should have been played a lot lighter, with more humor and slapstick. It's difficult for me to comment upon this as I've never seen the Musical Nine staged, nor Fellini's 8 1/2, for which the musical was based upon. But I will say, I felt Daniel Day-Lewis embodied the necessary elements to make up the character as I saw Gudio Contini to be - the scruffy sex appeal, angst, often hunching his shoulders as if the weight of the world were upon him; alternating between elite celebrity and naughty little boy.

I feel critics should be ashamed of themselves for finding such joy in ruining artists hard work, not to mention the financial toll. And worse that audiences can be so easily persuaded to follow whichever way the wind is blowing. Discussing a film at length as movie reviewers/audience is an important part of the process. Everyone has a right to say what they feel didn't work; however, I don't see the need to relish your dislike. Panning a film should only be done on the most rare occasion when you truly feel nothing was accomplished and everyone's efforts were wasted.

Nine isn't the most magical, sweeping movie musical I've ever seen, but it's definitely done it's job to be musically entertaining and visually captivating, well-produced and shouldn't be missed on the big screen.

Poor Rob Marshall will probably feel like Guido Contini next time he goes to make a film, as if the expectation is too much to live up to, destroying the child-like wonder of filmmaking entirely.



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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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