Couch Potato Pickings | Nine – great cast, shame about the songs


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Nine looks like it should be a great musical – big budget, big stars – Daniel-Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Fergie.

But, it doesn’t sound like a great musical. In fact, it doesn’t contain a single great song.

I’d love to say that there’s at least one musical number worth waiting for in Nine, but sorry, I can’t. These are my thoughts:

Nine, Daniel Day Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis.
Daniel plays frustrated filmmaker Guido Contini. It’s 1965 and he’s preparing to shoot his latest film in Rome. But, he’s struggling with a creative block and confused about the many women in his life. While stressing out, he sings a couple of unmemorable songs.

Nine, Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz
Penelope plays Guido’s tarty mistress. She delivers a bland song with a Spanish accent and performs a raunchy dance which is rather unbearable to watch.

Nine, Judi Dench

Judi Dench
Judi is Guido’s long-term costume designer Lilli. For some reason, she belts out a French-style showy number – I dozed off though, so totally missed what was going on here.

Nine, Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard
As Guido’s wife, Marion performs two boring songs. However, she is clearly the best singer of this bunch by far.

Nine, Fergie

I think Fergie plays some woman Guido fancied as a kid. I must have fallen asleep during her song as I have no recollection of it whatsoever.

Nine, Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson
Kate plays a journalist and her musical number is probably the best (albeit of a bad lot). Not only does she deliver a sassy dance, but her song has a tune that is almost memorable.

Nine, Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren
Sophia plays Guido’s mother. Did she sing her song with a husky voice? I’m not sure – I was  too busy trying to determine how much work she’s had done.

Nine, Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman
Nicole plays Guido’s muse. I don’t remember her song at all, but I do remember her unflattering dress. Something’s just not right up top.

And that’s it. A huge disappointment.

If you’re not a fan of musicals, then you should definitely avoid this. You’d be better off watching Fellini’s 8½ on which this musical’s based.

It’s much more tricky if, like me, you love musicals. You may like Nine – some people do. However, I find it hard to imagine how anyone can enjoy this movie. Rather than take the risk I suggest you just give it a miss and instead check out the hugely entertaining book What Would Barbra Do by Emma Brockes – a  jolly romp into the world of musicals, and why people either love or hate them.

Funnily enough, Barbra (Streisand, of course) was considered for the role of Lilli (Judi Dench) in Nine. I’m so relieved that didn’t happen.

Nine is showing today on Sky Movies Premiere at 10.30am and 8pm, and at various times throughout the week.

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