Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.



When I judge how good a movie is, I factor in how much I enjoyed the movie, and add that to how much I appreciated it. It is always a pleasure to see a movie in which I both enjoy greatly and appreciate. Rob Marshall's latest film, Nine, falls under this category, one I both enjoy and appreciate.  It is not the year's best film, but it is probably the years funnest film.

Famous 1960's motion picture director Guido Contini is suffering from creative block. His producer is hassling him about his next film, which is set to start production very soon. Keep in mind that this film does not yet have a script, as Contini has not written it yet. While this director's professional life is under stress, so is his personal life. He is trying to solve conflicts between himself, his wife, mistress, costume designer, and actress, among others. While some stories have a "rise and fall of..." structure, this film is simply "the fall of...".

The film has possibly the most beautiful photography I have ever seen in a film. It is a lock to win Best Cinematography, as well as Best Art Direction at this year's Academy Awards. Most of this film's stunning images come from Contini's dream sequences, but the photography in the real images are just as pleasing to look at.

Music is almost always an important element to a movie, and is always important to a musical. Most of the songs are taken from the musical on Broadway, while a few others are original songs. The best songs from the film are "Be Italian" and "Cinema Italiano", sung by Fergie and Kate Hudson, respectively. Accompanying these songs are fun dance moves, and as said previously, breath-taking photography.

I forgot what record Nine broke, but it set the record for something like the most Academy Award winners to appear in one film together. So it goes without saying that the acting was fun to watch. Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty iconic as Guido Contini, complete with a suit and tie, with sunglasses. Penelope Cruz was a scene-stealer, in a role that should give her another Oscar nomination. Judi Dench probably has the best one-liners out of all of them, worth a few laughs.

What I did not like about the film was how some of the characters seemed to not have much of a meaning to the story. Nicole Kidman's character stood out, as she was forgettable and irrelevant to the story. One more flaw this film contained was that it seemed to show off a little too much. Sure, some of the shots in the film were beautiful to look at, but was it really necessary? But if a film is going to have a flaw, this is the flaw I would like it to have.

The night after last year's Oscar telecast, I made a list predicting what film's would win the awards this year. I predicted Nine to win Best Picture. I hate to say it, but this film does not have a chance at winning the top prize at this year's Academy Awards. I am not exactly sure what is holding the film back from winning the top prize, but it lacks a certain something to sway the Academy in its favor. I enjoyed it thoroughly though, and it is bound to make my top ten of the year.

5 / 5 stars

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