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Nine (2009)

Nine poster

This must have been a dazzling stage show – showstopping dance numbers, terrific women performers, a variety of takes on Federico Fellini’s partially autobiographical masterpiece 8 1/2.  Arthur Kopit’s idea and Maury Yeston’s music apparently made for a great night on Broadway and earned plaudits for both Raul Julia and Antonio Banderas when they tackled the role of the great man or at least his avatar. But this is a film. And Fellini made some of the best. Rob Marshall is a theatre director, through and through, an expert choreographer and someone who can stage things … but his films are made in the editing room (I give you Chicago.) This is not so rare – only 6 directors or thereabouts in Hollywood ever have final cut:  there’s just too much money riding on it. Kate Hudson has an amazing dance number, some of the best screen actresses of the age are the satellite visions of director Guido’s reality and fantasy and the costumes and hairdos are very pretty. But the yawning chasm of pantomime at the centre of this appalling travesty is Daniel Day-Lewis who allegedly spent 2 years working as a shoemaker in Florence in preparation. He should have watched Mastroianni’s films.  Even 8 1/2.  I mean, he copied John Huston for his takeoff in There Will Be Blood, non e vero?! Dreadful. Adapted, if you can believe it, by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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