Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
Nine rates an average five
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Nine rates an average five

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

Nine Opening December 25

Whenever a movie is based on a previous source, there is always comparison especially when that movie is based on a stage musical, which was in turn based on the semi-autobiographical Fellini film, 8 ½. This is the case with Nine, the latest from director Rob Marshall (Chicago). The movie boasts a bevy of stars in its lineup, but there is something lacking and it fails to capture the full impact of either incarnation of its predecessors.

The plot revolves around Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), a movie director approaching 50 and dealing with a midlife crisis which finds him losing his inspirational vision. Despite the hype of his latest film, Italia, it hasn't even been written, and every relationship he's involved with is falling apart, including those with his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his mistress Carla (Penélope Cruz), and his leading lady Claudia (Nicole Kidman). Seeking answers from two significant past influences, the deceased mother (Sophia Loren) who pampered him as a child and the local whore Saraghina (Fergie) who introduced him to his sexual awakenings, he realizes the root of his failures with the women in his present; he can't look at a woman without the church-officiated "Madonna/whore" complex. His recognition is too late; his wife and his leading lady have had enough and left, and his film backers have backed out. With the advice of a wise costume designer (Judi Dench), Guido must decide to either grow up or remain at the mental age of nine.

The cast reads like a who's who, but the film doesn't play out like one. Daniel Day-Lewis shows a good balance of a man on the verge of a breakdown, but he's not a likeable character. We don't envy or sympathize with his lack of morality enough to empathize with his behavior. Penélope Cruz as Guido's mistress is more neophyte seductress than experienced courtesan, and her "Call From The Vatican" comes across as vaudeville instead of enticement. In the stage production, Guido's wife is present during this call - giving an explanation for the "Vatican" lie - but the film changed that and there's no reason to be secretive, making the song's contribution irrelevant.

As the voluptuous Saraghina, Fergie's sexuality is evident. The song "Be Italian," the movie's unofficial theme, is seductive, and we can see why she influences Guido's life. The choreography is sensual, the costuming carnal, but the song didn't explode and that's because these things often don't musically translate onto celluloid. Judi Dench delivers solid work as Lilli, a costume designer on Guido's previous films and the ever-subtle force in his life. Nicole Kidman is Claudia, the leading lady in all of Guido's work. Her character is supposed to be tired of repeating the same role in the maestro's movies, but her character came across as just tired. Kidman has already proven she can sing, but her character's song ("Unusual Way") is a love song of regret turned into contentment and Kidman doesn't have the power needed to emote this properly. It's too breathy and the longer notes sound forced from her lungs. Marion Cotillard as the hurt wife Luisa is wonderful. Her character is believable from the start as she sees through each lie her husband explains away. It's only through her eyes that we catch glimpses of Guido's genius and it is for this reasons that we feel her pain.

The songs are definitely moody and dark, which is what's needed in a mental breakdown musical. The new songs are good, but they don't fit with the set mood.

Rob Marshall is brilliant to conceive of this mental, musical-fantasy style of direction. It's the only way to present Nine on the big screen, and it's directed beautifully and sensually. The technique was perfectly utilized when he filmed Chicago and it works very well again with Nine. Since he's used this technique twice now, I eagerly look forward to his next original film conception.

Fans of the stage productions will notice differences immediately. Changes range from subtle incidentals to major revisions, but not all of them work well. Those not already familiar with the production won't notice. Stage fanatics will have to be contented with remembering that the original 1982 production won the Tony Award for Best Musical winning over Dreamgirls. It starred Raul Julia and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning five. The 2003 revival starring Antonio Banderas was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including Best Revival.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

SGN Exclusive Interview: Haffi Haff rocks Seattle's New Year's Eve
------------------------------
Le Faux Holiday Extravaganza raises $$$$ for SCCC students
------------------------------
Transplanted Taproot presents Wonderful staged radio play
------------------------------
Knights of Malta and Imperial Courts throw holiday benefit extravaganza
------------------------------
Ledisi's dazzling show illuminates at Jazz Alley
------------------------------
Holiday fundraiser held at Café Metropolitain
------------------------------
Plaid Tidings old-timey fun
------------------------------
The Lobby Bar opens at E. Pike St. location
------------------------------

------------------------------
Arnaldo! (VIDEO)
Opening hearts and minds through music one cabaret at a time.
2008 NY Backstage Bistro Award Winner

------------------------------
Phoenix delivers the year's best 30 minutes
------------------------------
Enjoying new Sherlock Holmes is elementary
------------------------------
A Single Man quite possibly the Gayest film ever
------------------------------
Stellar cast anchors gorgeous Young Victoria
------------------------------
WINDING DOWN 2009: Cake, Deck the Hall Ball
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood - Romeo San Vicente
------------------------------
Nine rates an average five
------------------------------
Book Marks
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Big Love takes a big Gay twist
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: Enjoying the arts for the holidays
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Seattle Women's Chorus delivers beautiful holiday concert
------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News