Yet for all its ballyhooed candor about sexual matters, it's a surprisingly baffling and opaque film, too artistic to be standard pornography and too zealously focused on being graphic to the exclusion of all else to succeed as drama.
There's no greater point to this footage, no connection to the characters or the theme; just top bands playing great songs. It looks like a collection of music videos, just as the rest of the film looks like a connection of porn loops.
The fun and pleasure of sex are relatively easy to put on film. But subtler shades of feeling and doubt, which sometimes change almost from night to night in the early stages of a relationship, are harder to capture, and that's what Winterbottom gets.
The filmmaker has said he wants 9 Songs to be drama about real sex that's not erotic. As if an admission of erotic intent somehow cheapens the aesthetics. And so a viewer's question might reasonably be, Who are ya kidding?