"Thank you for reminding me I'm not special. You don't even see what you do to me. Even the moments I think are ours, it's just... you working to get what you want."Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis stars as the whiny, self-centered and mildly pathetic film director Guido Contini in the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway show Nine. On the brink of developing his ninth film, Contini has a mid-career and mid-life crisis which forces him to have a conscious when faced with both the collapse of his movie and his marriage to Luisa (Marion Cotillard). Contini appears plagued with mistresses coming out of the woodwork, who simply won't leave him alone with his conscious (cue Penelope Cruz as "Carla"), and a severe writer's block along with feelings of nostalgia that make him long for the time when things were less complicated. Though he tries hard to win sympathy with his endless rants about how hard things have gotten for him, Contini is only met with revulsion, annoyance and impatience in return from his producer, his movie crew, and his confidante Lilli (Judi Dench). Even his muse (Nicole Kidman--in an awkward performance) becomes unamused with his shenanigans.
Some of the musical numbers, though charming, were often lackluster with the exception of Marion Cotillard's beautifully restrained turning wildly energetic numbers and Fergie's big number (which was the best of the movie). Kate Hudson, who plays a journalist and dedicated Contini fan, delivers a fun, perky dance number that's also a showstopper. But shockingly, Day-Lewis, Judi Dench and (sigh) Sophia Loren's musical performances sucked much of the energy out of the movie. Day-Lewis is poorly cast in this role, and certainly Kidman is totally underwhelming with her boring performance that desperately needed to be resuscitated--stat.
Though it wasn't the best movie musical, Nine certainly had its moments. The acting, excluding the leads, was good (Cotillard's heartbreaking performance was a standout), and some of the musical numbers had your attention. But this may be one of those Broadway shows that really should have stayed on the stage.
Reel Talk rating: C+