Nine

The Nominations:

  • Actress in a Supporting Role-Penelope Cruz
  • Art Direction
  • Costume Design
  • Music (Original Song)

The Black-and-White:

A review by Rocksgowhoosh

Nine, the much hyped and barely viewed film. After the Golden Globes Mark and I decided to hit the movie theatres to catch the possible Academy Award best picture nominations. When we saw Up in the Air we saw it in a movie theatre with 20-some other people; when we saw Nine at 10 pm in downtown Charlottesville (the only theatre in a 100 mile radius showing the movie) we were the only people in the theatre. It was so dead at midnight when the film finished that all but one door was locked and chained up and goodness even knows if there were any employees left.

After viewing Nine it was obvious why the theatre was so dead. Yes this movie is supposed to be a take off on 8 and 1/2, but it fails horribly as a movie, but most especially as a musical. One must ask “what were the casting directors thinking when they cast people that couldn’t sing?”. The only good musical number in the whole film was Fergie’s “Be Italian” and Dame Judy Dench’s number “Folies Bergeres” may have had some potential if the director had decided to allow her to sing in English (the language of the film) rather than sing with an atrocious fake French singing accent.

But to the nominations:

Penelope Cruz’s character is best known for the TV ads with her character Carla announcing that she’ll be waiting with her legs open. While she plays the role of Guido’s mistress, I don’t think the character had any real depth. I found myself often going “so why is she shagging him again? Because it doesn’t seem she has anything else in common with him”. Because I found the character very one dimensional and lacking depth, I don’t think she has a chance at winning when people such as Anna Kendrick were able to play more complex characters this year. Since she won best actress last year I’m a little puzzled as to why she was even nominated for the traditional pity prize people win the year after they lose out on a Best Actress award.

Art direction and costume design: Visually the movie was quite beautiful and it really tried to pick up the colors and tones of the 60’s and the time of Technicolor movies. Turning off the soundtrack would have actually helped with the appreciation of the art direction and it was somewhat incredible to see places we were a little over a year ago on film and looking the way they would have in the 60’s (the Piazza del Popolo and Via del Corso). I doubt that Nine will win Oscars for these categories as I think the winners often win for art design and costumes that enhance the movie, and I really felt like the art was often conflicting heavily with the acting and so called singing.

Original song: this is one I don’t feel I can judge just on it’s own merits unless I had the sheet music in front of me. I’m uncertain if this song was written before or after casting as I’m split between feeling as though it was written to work within Marion Cotillard’s limited vocal range or that someone did a crummy job with writing the song as there were notes that felt flat as heck or about half an octave lower than they should have been.

In total, this movie clocked in at two hours and I found myself checking my iPhone often as it felt like oh so much longer. I don’t see how a movie that drags so much could win any awards, but who ever knows what the Academy is thinking?

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