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Home » Culture and Criticism

Nine

Submitted by on March 6, 2010 – 9:45 AM3 Comments

Everyone looks beautiful, the acting is good (with one semi-exception), and Nine successfully evokes Fellini, but I don't think I see the point of the exercise, here or in the stage original. That the dialogue exists almost entirely in English with hammy Italian accents (Dench apparently refused even to bother, which is refreshing) doesn't help, and when it's added to the built-in contrivance of the musical genre, the result is forced.

Penelope Cruz is quite genuine and appealing, and it's in contrast to Nicole Kidman, who presents as very artificial. The movie isn't going for realism, obviously, but everyone else is committed to the concept. Kidman seems primarily concerned with posing, reminding the camera that she's A Great Beauty, and she's a better actress than that, plus the implied smugness is off-putting. Perhaps this is the point, but it didn't integrate very well for me.

Pretty to look at, but ultimately unsatisfying.

Sarah 49, Death Race 9; 18 of 24 categories completed

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3 Comments »

  • Crass says:

    So, Nicole Kidman gave the same performance as she did in 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Australia'. I don't know why people keep hiring her. She's awful.

  • Profreader says:

    I will say in defense of musicals (I have to, I write them…) that the great ones make you forget the contrivance of singing — that's part of the art of creating them. A lot of bad acting gets excused with "well, it's just a musical" when it's just bad acting. That said … I felt no motivation to go see "Nine" and still haven't. I felt like I should, just to support the genre of movie musicals … and still didn't go.

    Re Nicole Kidman: I think she was actually good in "Moulin Rouge". It was at some point afterward that she was secretly replaced by a waxwork replica… and I haven't been able to take her very seriously. Although she plays everything Oh So Seriously. (Well, okay, she had her moments in "The Others" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf's Prosthetic Nose" but for the most part she's turned into a mannequin.)

  • Alyson says:

    I haven't seen Nine, but I liked Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge; she had her goofball moments and her angst, and embraced both. Australia was a stupid movie but the suckage wasn't her fault; her role demanded a lot of "look at me I'm so aristocratic and proper" which she made appear ridiculous because that was part of the movie's comedy. (IMO the suckage in Australia was Baz Luhrmann's fault for deciding that the little boy's shitty pidgin English was an appropriate dialect for narrating a feature-length film.)

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