I’m not a huge movie person. Not because I don’t like movies, but mainly because there aren’t many that interest me today. However last Sunday I went to see the movie Nine. No, not that 9 nor District 9 (nor any of those other assorted “nine” movies that cropped up last year. I’m talking about the musical Nine. You know the one with practically every Hollywood starlet? Yeah, that Nine. It’s based off of a broadway musical and the previews looked enticing for this dancer so of course I needed to see it.
The plot: you follow movie director Guido Contini as he struggles with finding inspiration, meaning and purpose both in his life and in his latest film endeavor via all of the women that surround him–his wife, his muse, his mistress, his mother, and his costume maker. Due to his lack of inspiration he also lacks a script and it is one week prior to shooting. What’s an arrogant director to do? You’ll have to see it to find out.
My verdict: loved it. Soundtrack? Yes please. Movie? Must have on DVD. It’s not a movie for everyone but don’t let the musical part of it scare you away. They really did a great job incorporating the songs into the scenes rather than people spontaneously singing for no apparent reason. Nearly all of the song/dance sequences are big time imaginings of Guido Contini. The camera captures this by flashing back and forth between his memories or current moment and his imagination within each song. Sounds sporadic but it isn’t. It is quite seamless.
Now for the song/dance numbers:
Marion Cotillard, the wife: she sings twice and dances once and let me say that I love her. Both of her songs are very telling, very raw and the dance piece is the perfect metaphor for the moment it occurs in the movie. A favorite to be sure.
Penelope Cruz, the mistress: simple choreography but beautifully done. She’s a dancer so not much of a stretch for her but it is her first time singing.
Nicole Kidman, the muse: classic Nicole as always. She sings only. I like her character in this movie; what I like even more are her responses to Guido when they escape from the set.
Kate Hudson, the journalist: she sings and dances and for a moment she reminded me of her mother in her younger years. But, her vocals are too in front of the music for my taste and while her dancing is fine, she never really goes for it. I wanted to see her attack the choreography and she doesn’t. Most people probably will not see this; only us old dancers.
Judi Dench, the costumer: what can I say, I love this woman. She’s tells it like it is. And I love the French accent on her English lyrics for her “Folies Bergere” piece.
Sophia Loren, the mother: it’s Sophia Loren, enough said.
Stacy Ferguson, the prostitute: Ok, this is by far the most surprising sequence of the movie for me. Stacy Ferguson, if you don’t know, is Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas. She plays a prostitute from Guido’s youth that he and fellow friends used to pay to dance for them. She sings the main song of the movie “Be Italian” and does a wonderful job. Yes I said wonderful. I sat there somewhat dumbfounded as I watched this choreography (splendid and clever) and heard Fergie sing, really sing–something she hasn’t done in years. (I knew she used to sing years ago when I was a kid and she was on Kids Incorporated.) She needs to do more of this.
Nine employed the same director as Chicago, Rob Marshall, so if you enjoyed Chicago you will probably like Nine as well. The trailer shows snippets from all the dance numbers and features Fergie’s song “Be Italian”. Now, here is the link to the site; go watch it (click movie trailer in the upper right hand corner). So why are you still here? Go NOW!!