Nine

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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:22 pm

Joey wrote:Worst Rob Marshall film since the last Rob Marshall film.

Man... the board's getting better with the "one-liners"... LOL
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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:19 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Day Lewis not only isnt a believable Italian, he's not believable as a human being

LOL
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Postby Damien » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:53 pm

My favorite Sean Hayes line at the Tonys:

"Antonio Banderas is very fortunate. He was nominated for a Tony for his work in the Broadway revival of NINE. And he avoided the film version."
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Postby FilmFan720 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:23 pm

We finally caught up with this last night, and I was not expecting as much of a disaster as the final film is. I have stated before that this is one of my favorite stage musicals, and this is an abomination of a production. I hope I can post something longer about it later.
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Postby Big Magilla » Sun May 23, 2010 6:08 am

They're still picking the bones of this turkey. Steven Suskin in Playbill reviews the Blu-ray releases of M, Stagecoach and Nine. Amusingly he gets John Huston mixed up with John Ford in his review of Stagecoach, but he's right on target with his darts on Nine, particuarly those thrown at film critics :

"More to the point, theatre-related-wise, but far less satisfying, is Nine [Sony]. Chicago, Kander & Ebb (and Bob Fosse)'s stark and stylish 1975 Broadway musical, was transformed into an award-winning box office bonanza in 2002; why not give the same treatment to Maury Yeston (and Tommy Tune's) stark and stylish 1982 musical Nine? Well, I'll give you nine reasons. Or maybe eight-and-a-half, or maybe just skip it. I was personally distressed that some of the film critics laid blame for the film's shortcomings at the original musical's weak score. Weak score? Judge what is left in the film and how it is used, if you wish; but any such reference to the Broadway score of Nine betrays an ignorance of the show. Yeston's score is one of the finest of the last 30 years; it is, in a very unusual way, remarkable. So much for critical acumen. As for the film, which has now been released on DVD and Blu-ray, it is what it is; not very successful cinema, but of obvious interest to theatre folk. Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren and more, under the direction of Rob Marshall of the Chicago film. But oh, to see Raul Julia, Karen Akers, Anita Morris and the others once more!"

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Postby Damien » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:49 am

ITALIANO wrote:Italians, being very provincial, felt grateful and honored - before seeing the movie. After one week, Nine wasn't in the cinemas anymore.

LOL An industry marketing guy I know who follows such things told me that Nine is a huge bomb in every international market -- except for South Korea, where it's a big hit. Go figure.
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Postby OscarGuy » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:50 pm

Actually, I don't hate it. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. I like elements of it and while it's not exactly Fellini, I can see where Marshall was attempting to do Fellini as stage musical numbers. I also don't see it as far removed from 8 1/2 as others. I definitely won't say its anywhere near as good as that film, but it has its moments. I adore Marion Cotillard in the film, but it may be the nature of the role. Anouk Aimee was brilliant in the original, so it goes to show. I didn't like Penelope Cruz. I don't understand the love for her performance. Sophia Loren looked like she didn't want to be there and Kate Hudson at least looked like she had a hell of a lot of fun.

There's a lot I like, but again, there's a lot I don't, especially at how long the thing is and how much of the film just drags.

I will give it a suitable analogy. You know how many dogs are just cute as hell, can even do tricks and generally make you happy, but also have those annoying habits? Like when they scoot their ass on the ground trying to clean it off, but leaving shit streaks on the carpet while never quite getting that last hanger-on off? That's about how I feel about this film. It's gorgeous to look at, quite fun, has some very entertaining elements, but takes forever to get anywhere and leaving an impression on you that isn't really all that great in the end.
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Postby Reza » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:39 pm

Damn.........now I really want to see this film.

I guess it is so pathetic that it isn't even available here on a pirated DVD although we get every kind of crap immediately. When is it out on DVD?




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Postby Big Magilla » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:49 pm

At long last, a film we can all hate equally.

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Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:44 pm

More than a bad movie (which it is), a tragically unimpressive, useless one. Worse than Chicago, for sure; and even worse than Dreamgirls, but only because Dreamgirls, being more conventional, at least worked on a VERY superficial, tearjerker level, so it moved some (not me). But all these movies share a view of filmmaking, and show business in general, which I find very banal, very easy - they have more in common with the five-divas-giving-an-Oscar than with the truly great musicals of the past. Had Rob Marshall won an Oscar for Chicago it would be, especially in retrospective, a true scandal.

I know, I shouldnt even compare Fellini with it, it would be like comparing the best Italian cuisine with MacDonald's. And they downplayed the original soutce of the movie in America; in Italy, of course, they couldn't do the same. Marshall, Loren, Cruz (who speaks Italian very well having worked here) and Cotillard went to tv program after tv program repeating how much they love 8 1/2, and this is not a remake but a hommage to the maestro, etc. Italians, being very provincial, felt grateful and honored - before seeing the movie. After one week, Nine wasn't in the cinemas anymore.
So I won't compare it with Fellini, it'd be pointless. I will compare the actors only. Daniel Day Lewis is bad - Mastroianni could make passive interesting, even fascinating. Day Lewis not only isnt a believable Italian, he's not believable as a human being, the way he moves and walks even seems strangely distorted, grotesque (I swear we don't act like that!). Cruz's several Supporting Actress nominations are a big question mark for me - her performance is messy, unfocused, while in 8 1/2 Sandra Milo was the REAL thing - not only because she was Fellini's real life lover, so the character she played was based on herself, but also because even the garish dresses she wore seemed perfect for her, while on Cruz they look like something just out of the costume department. Dench is good as always when she acts (her musical number isn't memorable), but Rossella Falk, who had more or less the same role in Fellini's masterpiece, was more biting, cruel even. Nicole Kidman and her plastic surgery obviously can't compete with Claudia Cardinale's natural amazing beauty and charm. Fergie is probably a good singer (and her number is one of only two entertaining songs in the whole movie) but she's too "clean" for Saraghina; in 8 1/2 the character was played - memorably - by an American opera singer with a typically Felliniesque weird face, Edra Gale, who later turned up (almost as effectively) as the woman on the bus at the end of The Graduate. Goldie Hawn's daughter is dreadful and Sophia Loren, who has stopped acting in the last twenty years, is used, as usual, as a monument, like the Coliseum or the Tower of Pisa.
It's true that Cotillard is the best; she's softer than Anouk Aimee had been, and at times manages to convey something of Giulietta Masina's wide eyed innocence. Hers isnt groundbreaking acting, let's be clear, but at least she's reasonably affecting and proves that, unlike for others in the same movie, the Oscar she won wasn't completely undeserved. She's a good actress (and she gets to sing the OTHER good song).

I didn't like the movie but I wasn't bored, because I am Italian and Nine is full of great Italian actors, multiple David and Silver Ribbon winners, all of them (with the exception of Ricky Tognazzi who plays the cliched cigar smoking producer) with only one or two lines to say. It's a bit humiliating honestly (most of them would be certainly better than Day Lewis or Cruz in their roles), but this is Hollywood and these are the rules of the game of course.

This is Hollywood, but it wants to be Cinecittà. But I wonder - what did they come to shoot the movie in Italy for? You don't "feel" Italy, and even the few images of my country are so conventional, so unimpressive and flat, that they could have been shot in an American studio with the same result - and at a cheaper price.




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Postby Joey » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:39 pm

1/2 star out of 4

Atrocious. Worst Rob Marshall film since the last Rob Marshall film.




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Postby Mister Tee » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:27 pm

Oy.

Let me start by saying, I'm sure everyone assumes I have an emotional attachment to the material. Which is true, but not in the way you'd think. I didn't actually meet my wife until almost a year after the show closed; she wasn't even in it when I saw it near the end of its run. (I did, of course, see her perform Be Italian on the Tonys) I've come to know many people connected with the show in the years since, and of course have personal feelings about them/it, but it's not as if I lived through the whole experience of the show (they way I did with Grand Hotel).

My real attachment is, I loved this show on stage. I thought it one of the best musicals of the post-Sondheim era -- a vivid, grown-up, surprisingly fresh experience. Surprising because, though it obviously cribbed characters and situation from the Fellini classic, it struck out well on its own -- recalling the film, visually/thematically, far less directly than such other knockoffs as All That Jazz or Stardust Memories. This was largely due to Tommy Tune, one of the last remaining conceptualizers of the musical stage. His decision to cast only women in support of Raul Julia, his clothing them all in black on an all-white set, his use of the stage as the inside of Guido's head...all created a new work of art that existed alongside Fellini's but didn't simply try to coast by mining its best qualities. And, unlike Damien (and other critics), I think it's a wonderful score...far more melodic than pretty much any musical of recent vintage. Granted, a good many of my favorite tunes didn't survive into this version – Simple, Nine, Getting Tall, and Be On Your Own (whoever thought removing that for Take It All has a rock for a brain) – but even just Guido's Song, My Husband Makes Movies, Be Italian and In a Very Unusual Way strike me as a cut way above Broadway average.

Despite all this affection, I doubted the film's prospects. Concept musicals have been notoriously difficulty to film; two that succeeded -- Cabaret and Chicago -- did so primarily by concentrating on their theatre settings (literal, in Cabaret's case; for Chicago, in the characters' ambitious minds). The idea here seems to be to try and do the same with a film's sound-stage, but 1) the sound-stage is a different animal – not having an applauding audience, among other things and 2) much of the action of Nine takes place in realistic settings (as opposed to the cartoony universe of Chicago), and the shift doesn't fly.

I will say I did like the opening sequence of Nine –a sort of illustrated overture, with some lovely movement – and I liked the closing tableau. I'd have been interested in seeing a film that stayed within those parameters throughout the running time. But Marshall failed at this, and failed in a way I hadn't anticipated. I'd worried – when I saw it was being set in real-time early 60s Italy – that the film would too much resemble 8 ½, a comparison where Marshall was bound to come off a distant second. Instead, the film resembled a more realistic Italian film of the era (or, maybe just Stardust Memories), which I view as a fatal error. It struck me watching that, this material has a framework that thrived in two media because of the strength of its directorial vision, not its content. If you reduce the story to realistic bare bones, it becomes the tale of an artist who coldly uses people and a husband who's massively unfaithful to his wive – a double-wheeze; The Bad and the Beautiful al Italia. Without a director who can command stage or screen via dazzling technique, this material just sits there, with only the musical numbers to relieve the tedium.

Anthony Minhgella is a logical person to blame for this, given his screenplay credit, but I'd be more inclined to blame the person who hired him – namely, Harvey Weinstein. Minghella is clearly a classicist; he doesn't have a surrealist bone in his body. You don't hire him for material that needs a vivid spin to stay afloat. And, come to think of it, this isn't the only flaw in the project that can be traced back to Weinstein. He brought on board Day-Lewis, Dench and Kidman (all veterans of his Miramax days), none of whom are are irreplaceable, and some of whom actively sabotage the project (more on that just ahead). Harvey has long been known as a buttiniski, and maybe some of his early instincts were canny. But here I think he's moved on the late-Selznick megalomania, and has hurt his own film by, in the name of packaging, saddling the project with parts that don't fit.

As to those actors:

Day-Lewis succeeds with the accent, but not in making you feel he's Italian to his bones. And Damien is quite right here, that charm is missing entirely. My wife is fiercely devoted to Raul Julia, and she noted last night that when Raul played the moment Day-Lewis had in the film of hiding behind the plant, it was impish and charming; Day-Lewis seemed dead inside. And he clearly can't sing. This wasn't such a handicap in Guido's Song, but in I Can't Make This Movie, his failure to engage the melody prevented the moment from soaring to the emotion that his physical actions were communicating. Antonio Banderas in the revival was far more effective.

Penelope Cruz was fine enough in the dialogue scenes, but I thought A Call From the Vatican fell entirely flat. My wife has seen numerous actresses perform the song, and Anita Morris is the only one she truly loved. As she says, the problem is, if the number doesn't strike just the right kittenish note, it falls into lewdness and just feels unpleasant. Which I think is the effect here.

Cotillard is, for me, the best in show. Her voice wasn't quite up to the early notes of My Husband Makes Movies, but she took command midway though the number. And her quality throughout – perched between naivete and wishing for the best/expecting the worst – felt just right and heartbreaking. She also looked beautiful.

Judi Dench was fine in her dialogue scenes, but her character's place in the narrative is uncharted – the part appears to have been created to get Dench into the movie. And the contortions required to lead into Folies Bergere were laughable (they reminded me of an old game show Keep Talking, where people had to work certain phrases into a running story, and you watched their gyrations trying to steer the story back to where their line made sense). As for the number itself...well, the only Folies Bergere anyone here seems to have seen is the Vegas version. And Dench of course can't dance, which makes the whole thing pointless. You'd never guess, but Liliane Montevecchi made this a wonderful moment onstage.

Kate Hudson is grisly bad. Another pointless character, with a bad new song. And when she dances what looks like the Pony, she resembles her mother in Laugh-In days, only with a heavier face.

Nicole Kidman is actually good enough, but I don't know why Marshall felt the need to bifurcate her number, so it feels like she's singing a duet with herself. In fact, overall it feels like Marshall is continually trying to have too much happen. I remember when I was a kid and my parents brought home the playbill from Hello, Dolly! Every number seemed to read "Dolly and Ensemble"; "Cornelius, Barnaby and Ensemble" -- and I remember thinking, doesn't anyone in this show sing a solo or duet? The same applies here -- even with a number like Be Italian, which worked well enough on the beach or on the sound-stage, but which was vitiated by splitting its focus between the two. (Fergie sings it quite well, though, as my wife is happy to acknowledge)

My opinion of the film isn't much higher than anyone else's here, but maybe my tone is a bit different. I see this as not the standard Hollywood failure, which risks too little, but rather as the ambitious project that tries, if anything, way too hard. There were moments during the film that I thought, hey, that scene worked -- but then it was often negated by the scene that followed, simply because it was off in another realm. This film needed a strong hand -- a hand other than Weinstein's -- but an excess of artistic imagination ended up making as disappointing a film as one that didn't try to begin with.

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Postby Damien » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:11 pm

Just awful. The film was probably dead from the get-go once Day-Lewis was cast. For a self-involved libidinous reprobate like Guido to catch our interest, he has to exude great charm. The dour Day-Marshall is one of the most charm-less actors there is, and he compounds matters heer by slouching over, ape-like so that he conjures up the equally charm-less Ben Stiller. There’s no reason to care about any of the characters here – only Cotillard comes even close to creating a recognizable human being.

The songs are generally worse-than-mediocre -- the only good one is the old Italian pop hit "Quando Quando Quando" which was a staple on the bar in the East Village I hung out at during law school -- the narrative clichéd and the dialogue embarrassingly trite. But worst of all is Rob Marshall’s conceit and execution. Having the musical numbers all performed on a soundstage is the same conceit he used in Chicago. But there, having a theatre stage as the musical locus made sense, because the songs represented the characters’ dreams and inner feelings which they weren’t able to express in real life (and it was the screenwriter’s concept, not the director’s.). Here the numbers are just retreading thoughts and attitudes the characters have already spoken. And Marshall uses the same gliding camera foe the numbers – it’s as if he thought he were filming additional scenes for Chicago. And the numbers are embarrassing – more faux Bob Fosse, but worse than that Marshall has mistaken vulgar for sensual. Some nice production design, but other than that pretty much worthless.

And at $90 million, it's the most expensive musical ever, although you wouldn't know it from what's up on the screen.

3/10
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Postby Big Magilla » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:30 pm

Weinstein Co sees "Nine" losing ground at theaters
Reuters

By Alex Dobuzinskis Alex Dobuzinskis – 2 hrs 12 mins ago

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It gained early success on the awards circuit, but the star-studded musical "Nine" will likely be pulled back from hundreds of smaller U.S. cities, after disappointing box office and lackluster reviews.

After playing in 1,400 screens last weekend, the Weinstein Company, which is behind "Nine", said on Tuesday it expects the movie to play in 800-900 screens in big U.S. cities in coming weeks.

"The movie is performing very well on about 890 key screens," David Glasser, an operations executive for the independent Weinstein Company told Reuters.

"The movie's doing well in those areas and obviously in some smaller cities, it was not doing as well," Glasser said, adding that the studio expected "Nine" to perform well in the weeks ahead.

"Nine" was one of the most anticipated movies of the year and cost an estimated $64 million to produce. But it finished eighth at the North American box office on its second week last weekend with a modest $5.5 million in ticket sales.

The poor showing came despite five Golden Globe nominations for the Federico Fellini-inspired song and dance spectacular whose cast includes Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman.

Harvey Weinstein, who earlier this year sought restructuring advice for his cash-strapped independent Weinstein Company, has long made a strategy of turning awards show buzz into box office success.

Movie industry watchers had expected "Nine" to finish in the top five over the Christmas holiday weekend in a crowded field that included action films "Avatar" and "Sherlock Holmes."

"Nine" opened in limited U.S. release on December 18 and expanded widely on December 25.

"It's got to be a major blow to their strategy," said Larry Gerbrandt, principal with Media Valuation Partners.

"(Weinstein) really needed this to work. I don't know if the blow is fatal or not, but this is certainly a setback," he said of the box office figures.

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Postby Big Magilla » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:28 pm

I'm glad I read the reviews before I saw this dud. Had I been expecting anything better I would have been sorely disappointed.

To be fair, Daniel Day-Lewis does do a credible job of impersonating Marcello Mastroianni but his singing should have been dubbed or at least blended with the voice of a real singer. It's like listening to nails on a chalkboard to here him groan out lyrics.

The only song in the entire film that is put over with any real feeling is Marion Cotllard's "My Husband Makes Movies". It's also the only song in the entire film that is not over-produced. To paraphrase A.O. Scott's comments about the acting in The Last Station, if they gave Oscars for the most cinematography, art direction, costume design or most overdone production numbers, Nine would win a slew of them.

Both Cotillard and Penelope Cruz give excellent performances within the limits of what they're given to do.
Cruz's "Call from the Vatican" number though is a huge letdown. For a taste of why this number was such a showstopper on stage, try and find archival footage of the 1984 Tony Awards show in which the late, great Anita Morris shows how it's done.

Judi Dench is miscast. Nicole Kidman is wasted. Kate Hudson stinks. Fergie sings, but that's it.

On the other hand, Sophia Loren looks amazing for someone who is older than Rex Reed.


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