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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz


Phenomenal & Overwhelming

Nine is a flying trapeze of passionate zest, fashionable flair and musical fulfillment. With only a week left before shooting begins, Italian film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) seeks inspiration from women who've played different roles in his life, both professionally and personally: Star performer Claudia (Nicole Kidman), his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz), his costume designer and close friend Lilli (Judi Dench), his mother (Sophia Loren) and Stephanie an American fashion journalist for Vogue (Kate Hudson).

Nine is one of those musicals that feels more like a concert than a full story. You can find the story if you pay close enough attention but most audiences will probably just let the music relax them like a massage. The musical numbers are a bit wild but they're very well done and have phenomenal choreography. The music eventually becomes soothing and the cast will leave you in awe.

Penelope Cruz in particular delivers some of her best work here. Carla is not as appreciated by Guido as he is of the others and she knows that. She's extremely sensitive and while she's not particularly needy by nature, she becomes too clingy for Guido’s patience. The way Carla performs is beautiful because so many performers perform to entertain others but they forget to entertain themselves. Carla nourishes herself within her craft. She's not vain, she's not looking for more, she's simply enjoying what she's most thankful for her ability to entertain.

The costumes are extravagant and elegant and the production design transports audiences back in time to classic Hollywood where creativity exhales and dreams run free and wild. Nine is definitely one of those musicals that engulfs you in its flames of brilliance and leave you feeling overwhelmed and wanting more.

People just don't make musicals like Nine anymore. It's also the kind of music that makes you feel better. Lately, it's been one of my go-to movies and I highly recommend it to anyone passionate about the arts who are looking to run away from their troubles. At its essence, Nine is a film about culture and how to have fun with art rather than obsess over every little detail. Sit back on the couch with popcorn and allow Nine to pump you up and get you carried away. We're all only human after all.

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