Nine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nine Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 7, 2010
My first viewing was eccelente, but the second viewing felt a bit stagnant. I was really psyched by the trailer, but since I abhor both "8 1/2" and "Chicago" (also helmed by Rob Marshall) and since critics were saying it's a mess, I came into this movie prepared to dislike it. It's messy in places, but the match cut transitions from scene to stage work better here than in "Chicago." The music is lively, and the virtuoso cast deliver virtuoso performances.

Fergie may be a pop star, but make no mistake, she can belt. "Be Italian" is the best singing performance of the film - such drama and yearning. Marion Cotillard gives perhaps the best acting performance. "My Husband Makes Movies" is heartbreaking, and "Take It All" is kinky in a very tragic way. I rather like Kate Hudson's "Cinema Italiano" even though her character is merely a bouffanted yes-woman in the movie unlike in the stage show.

I'm surprised that Penelope Cruz was nominated for a GG though. She's quite sexy and tortured in her non-musical scenes, but her singing voice is a little thin, and she doesn't extend her limbs fully when she dances. Nevertheless, kudos for getting by on pure moxie cuz that's what you really need if you haven't got the pipes or the gams.

Daniel Day-Lewis is serviceable and charismatic, and Judy Dench is certainly a saucy dame. She speaks through a lot of "Folies Bergere," but it works. Nicole Kidman and Sophia Loren are underused, but they're still beautiful and iconic, respectively.

Overall, a brilliant spectacle with a surprisingly moody script that captures much of its source material's existential angst.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2009
A famous Italian director (rhymes with Fellini) is stuck for ideas for his next expected blockbuster and along the way he's gotta figure out where his charmed life went wrong. But just because you want to do a meaningful musical though doesn't necessarily guarantee results, even with Rob Marshall directing. On the other hand, you can get smashing performances from some of Hollywood's leading (if not famous for musical) ladies. Penelope Cruz (!), Dame Judi Dench (!), and Kate Hudson (!), not known for being hoofers, particularly crank this mother up.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2011
Sometimes you need to weigh up your options. Either you go by the director (who happens to have made one of the worst and most overrated films ever with "Chicago") or you go by the actor (who has delivered consistantly memorable performances in his career with "My Left Foot", "Gangs of New York" and "There Will Be Blood"). In this case I went with the actor but that still didn't save a poor director, poorly plying his trade.
1960s Italy. Once-celebrated film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggles with his unwritten script for his comeback film. Looking for inspiration, he turns to his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his wife (Marion Cotillard), his muse (Nicole Kidman), his confidante (Judi Dench) and his childhood memories to solve his crisis, with unsuccessful yet well-sung results.
I really wanted to like this film as I'm a big fan of Daniel Day-Lewis and the impressive cast of females has rarely, if ever, been bettered. However, I'm not big on musicals or director Rob Marshall for that matter. Thankfully, this is not quite as bad as Marshall's overrated stinker "Chicago", but it isn't much better either. Day-Lewis was my main reason for attempting this and considering he's quite fastidious in his choices, I thought I'd follow his lead on this one. I was wrong and so was he in choosing this meandering borefest. The look of the film is gorgeous, as expected, with fabulous production design and cinematography and the ladies (oh the ladies) look amazing and deliver their song and dance numbers competently. Having Judi Dench in a corset was just a tad too much for my liking though. It was around this point in the movie that I realised this thinly veiled attempt at recreating a muscial of Frederico Fellini's "8 1/2" was a great waste of talent.
A lush and extravagant musical that has style in abundance. Substance is what it lacks though, leaving a great cast struggling to save it from tedium. Suited to fans of the genre only.
Matthew Roe
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2011
A film with fiery passion, an amazing cast of top-talent actresses and the always impressive Daniel Day-Lewis, led by the creative director of "Chicago", Rob Marshall. This is the makings of a great landmark film, however where it falls is the subject matter and the execution of it. The musical Nine is a musical send-up and adaptation of Federico Fellini's amazing film, "8 1/2". Now, I can see where Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Anthony Minghella wanted to take the screenplay, however, his efforts are refuted by the very fact that the Arthur Kopit/Maury Yeston musical is a poor adaptation of Fellini's film, which was closley autobiographical and personal, where the musical and subsequent film are distant and at times even cold where the original film was very real and very emotional because, in its own way, connects more with the reality of the world around the characters, the personal crises, and the utter flawless direction. This film is disjointed in ways that even those not watching the original could still be confused by. The songs were very well sung, very well shot and very well edited, but besides Fergie's "Be Itialian", Kate Hudson's "Cinema Italiano", and Marion Cotillard's "Take It All", they were all tragically forgettable. A decidedly good effort, and by itself, it is a bit too chaotic and not nearly as bold as the film it is homaging and based on.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2011
Painstakingly boring and dull. It was a chore just trying to keep my eyes open.
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2011
It's visually stunning, and has beautiful costumes and art direction, but ultimately Nine is a disjunct, hard to follow and distant film. The cast handle's the sining and dancing very well and there are some great performances though.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2009
So much talent so little result. A lot of flash and almost no substance.
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2009
So when I read the first reviews of this movie I was thinking, HOW CAN EVERYONE HATE IT SO MUCH!! This movie was directed by Rob Marshall, the genius who gave us Chicago and Memoirs of a Geshia... But then I saw this film and got somewhat of an idea. While it is a beautiful, the acting isnt terrible, the costumes and musical numbers are great, It just felt like there was something wrong the entire time I watched it....I dont know what it is. I believe that the best performance, the one most deserving of an oscar nod was Marion Cotillard. She always gives a great heartfelt performance and she was top notch. I think that the academy giving the nod to Penelope Cruz was a flop, a following up to her win last year. Im not saying that it was bad but it simply was not deserving of an Oscar. If you like classy, beautiful looking movies and you liked Chicago you will probably like this one although in no way is it on the same level of Chicago.
Super Reviewer
June 5, 2010
Can't say I was overly impressed, but then musicals are never really my thing. I have rated it as a 3, which is average. Even though I didn't like it much, couldn't say it was actually bad, just kind of a nothing story with an unlikeable lead character. Each of the women do a song and dance. None of them I found that great, although Kate Hudson comes out of it the best. Fergie I always find kind of feral, and she is here too - I can't imagine who's idea of sexy that routine would be.
I mean obviously I am not the target audience for this. If you enjoy musicals, check it out, if not, this probably isn't the movie to convert you. I managed to sit through the whole thing, so that at least says something for it.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2010
Rob Marshall's "Nine" is extremely underrated. The film is expertly shot and edited. This is an extremely visual picture, where, unexpectedly, most of the story and emotion is portrayed in the mise en scene rather than the actual narrative. Symbolic musical numbers, which are full of life and character development, drive the story home. The cast is great, the scenery is great, the story (based on Fellini's "8 1/2") is great and the whole thing ends up being very memorable... well, at least for me. I think many viewers got lost in the visual symbolism, so please, pay attention when you see "Nine", you will be all the better for it.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2010
Memo to Rob Marshall, if you're going to make a film about being Italian, maybe hire some Italians? After the Caucasian washed Japanese cast debacle that was Memoirs of a Geisha you'd think you'd have learned your lesson.

A film about not having a script needs to have a great script, and this unfortunately does not. Beautiful photography can't save this ode to cheating on your wife. With the exception of Be Italian (which is by far the films highlight) all of the songs are thoroughly forgettable.
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2010
Gotta say this was not the best musical I've ever seen. The songs were uninteresting, especially the coreography (Fergie's scene is the exception). The story itself was really boring also, I felt like nothing much happened. Other than Daniel Day-Lewis being himself and Penelope Cruz being super hot, this one doesn't have much going for it. Oh, and I did feel pretty bad when Mario Cotillard leaves him, but he did deserve it.
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2010
Dull dance sequences and forgettable songs get in the way of a potentially interesting study of a tormented auteur except he is a tiresome narcissist who you could careless about.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2010
Rob Marshall's "next one" after Chicago is an entertaining film, but the story is M.I.A. The singing and dancing are fun - especially for the guys in the audience - but I couldn't really feel anything for Daniel Day-Lewis's character. Nine is like candy - sweet to the taste and forgotten as soon as it's gone. A pleasurable distraction at best.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2010
Glamour, beauty and a half-dozen Oscar winners starring in a Broadway musical based on Fellini, what could go wrong? Well, this film is a total bore! Pure style over no substance. Mostly all songs are annoying, everything is just so cold and distant, and I couldn't wait to see it over!
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2010
It's the story of a man obsessed with making a good movie no matter what and the women who come in and out of his life. Memories.
I liked it, but it wasn't as good as Chicago. The costumes where lovely, it's a beautiful drama, great songs. The cast was incredible. It's worth a watch.
Super Reviewer
½ August 13, 2009
Dazzling! Director Rob Marshall makes this film a vibrant, provocative musical filed with love, lust, passion and glamour. This is a 1982 Tony award-winning musical based on Federico Fellini's Euro classic 8 1/2.
You might expect, they all turn in excellent performances. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis can sing, and dance, and even speak Italian (show-off), Kate Hudson is one helluva hoofer, Penelope Cruz can move in ways you never thought decent in a musical, Judi Dench can pull off a good tune, and Fergie (the Black Eyed Pea rather than the Duchess) absolutely nails the musical's one guaranteed foot stomper, Be Italian. Oh, and Nicole Kidman can sing, but you knew that already.
But in among these first-rate turns there shines an even sparklier star in the form of Marion Cotillard, playing the alienated wife Luisa to Day-Lewis's charismatic yet uninspired film director, Guido. Enchanting and saddening in equal measure, Cotillard gracefully steals the show from under everyone's noses, masterfully delivering the other two big numbers, the eye-watering My Husband Makes Movies and the uncompromising better Take It All.
Shooting and cutting Marshall's numbers like a dervish, he undeniably has a gift in taking musical newcomers and making them shine. Yet his grip falters in its ambitious Fellini-esque time-shifting structure, the film awkwardly juggling black-and-white snapshots from Guido's childhood with colourful musical numbers set on a huge stage.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2010
Nine's not the harbinger of cinematic apocalypse as most critics seem to call it, but the serendipity of its colossal failure when it's about a film that's a colossal failure is too delicious to ignore. It's an essentially character-driven piece powered by a handful of vignettes, like Chicago in hyperdrive, but unfortunately the work of both the writers and some of the performers causes this fragmented approach to film making to not quite succeed. It seems most appropriate to discuss the film from performer to performer, as that's what Nine lives and mostly dies by.

Perhaps the most shocking disappointment is Daniel Day-Lewis; though his charisma is apparent in bursts such as the press conference, he cannot sing at all and his physicality seems labored. The man's pushing 50, so it's pretty sensational that he can pull off what he does in the first place, but it doesn't keep his gymnastic first number from feeling any less awkward. The nadir of Guido's journey for inspiration comes to us via Kate Hudson, a competent dancer and terrible singer slurring her way through a mindless, bizarrely sexy hymn of praise to Italian cinema. Her subsequent disappearance from the film only goes to highlight the value of her contributions. A similar fate befalls Fergie, though she can actually sing and her number at least benefits Guido's character, subtly explaining the origins of his love for and appreciation of women. Judi Dench's only shining moment is her musical number, where she is allowed to be broad and jubilant and excitable, something I feel like I never see from her. (Disappointingly, the song itself is dull.) In character, she's predictably terse and foresighted, a Dench performance to the last drop. Penelope Cruz's performance is decent but A Call From the Vatican just doesn't buzz like it should; the camera's shameless ogling of her lady parts seems like a cheap substitute for the undersold musical number itself. She was not worthy of an Oscar nomination, if I do say so myself, and I say this as a relatively recent convert to the church of Cruz. Nicole Kidman stands on similar ground, evincing the untouchable movie star persona that Claudia Janssen's part calls for. Everything seems to light up around Guido when she finally splashes into the movie. Unfortunately, her number is dull as dirt, and she's a proficient but totally uninteresting singer. Sophia Loren is in the movie for less than five minutes. And finally, after all this drubbing, the good part. As you've surely heard from everyone who's seen Nine, the MVP is Marion Cotillard, who sings and dances and acts like she could do it in her sleep. Rob Marshall knows it, too - her killer performance of My Husband Makes Movies gets the most focused, flattering editing of anything else in the movie. All the better for us to transfix on her sterling voice and the emotion that she effortlessly suffuses it with. She embarrasses Hudson right out of the movie.

To be fair, I haven't seen 8 1/2 (I KNOW!), so I'm not sure what the magnitude of utter bastardization here is. As an independent work of cinema, it's a whole lot of peaks and valleys. Marshall seems to be a director who has made a lot of promises to a lot of pretty people, some of which worked out better for him than others. The end result of their combined efforts is kind of a hot mess, a movie that is sometimes fun and sometimes touching but that you finish feeling utterly empty and unaffected. Its disposable nature wouldn't be so offensive, were it not for its clear ambitions; Marshall was gunning for more Oscar gold here, but fell sadly short. Like with Chicago, fans of the musical will eat this up, but everyone else probably won't find much to appreciate in it.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2010
Filled with beautiful stars, beautiful Italian scenery, and beautiful cinematography, Nine has some significant sure-fire flash, but it's missing the dazzle (or is it razzle?). The movie based on the 1980s Broadway musical based upon the Fellini movie, 8 1/2, is a pretty hollow enterprise. It's all about writer's block, and unless you're the Coen brothers this is not a very interesting conflict to watch on screen. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Guido, a famous Italian director feeling overwhelmed by the impending start of his ninth movie, a movie he hasn't written a script for yet. He tries to find inspiration from his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his muse/lead actress (Nicole Kidman), his dead mother (Sophia Loren), a magazine journalist (Kate Hudson), and just about anybody else. The film is structured much like director Rob Marshall's Oscar-winning musical Chicago, where the song-and-dance numbers are little mental asides inside the characters' minds. So most actresses get one big number and then it's arevaderche. Day-Lewis is good but his character is hard to emphasize with, especially as he bounces from woman to woman, whining about the duress of creativity while anybody minus a Y chromosome (and who isn't Judi Dench) throw themselves at the guy. Despite the lackluster story and characters, Nine still could have succeeded from its musical numbers. Too bad then that the songs are instantly forgettable. Seriously, if you put a gun to my head mere minutes after I heard these tunes I wouldn't be able to hum a bar. The dancing is lively, and Cruz and Cotillard prove to be infinitely and tantalizingly flexible, but the songs are truly unimpressive. I never would have guessed that in a movie filled with so many Oscar-winners that Fergie would be the highpoint. She plays a lustful figure of Day-Lewis' youth, and her number exudes a vivacious sensuality. The playful choreography incorporates sand on the stage, which makes for several great images and dance moves. The song is also by far the catchiest, "Be Italian," and the only thing worth remembering. The trouble for Nine is that there's another hour left after this peak. I'm astounded that people thought, at one time, that Nine was going to be a serious awards contender. This has the "parts" of an awards movie but no vision or verve to assemble them.

Nate's Grade: C
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2010
An off-key picture that hits lots of wrong notes. Marshall seems to go for Chicago the Sequel and instead ends up with Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakuel.

From Day-Lewis being rarely miscast as Guido to Marshall's Broadway-like direction, Nine doesn't get you invested enough for you to care about the characters. Wasted performances by Cruz and Cotillard can't save this chaotic disaster.
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