I don’t know – It’s hard for me to be objective with Nine ads splattered all over my site but I half wonder if Nine is the kind of musical that will appeal to Europeans more than (the few) Americans I’ve spoken with, and the reviews. The Weinsteins (and those who work for them) are great at pulling a rabbit out of the hat in the last act, which is why, I suspect, they prefer to be underestimated rather than overestimated. This was the case with The Reader last year. Anyway, several outlets in the UK are praising the film, The Times Online:
If you haven‚Äôt seen or don‚Äôt know the original musical, and if you are seduced by the spectacular trailers, you might expect Nine to be a glittering cavalcade of frouffed and bouffed leading ladies (Pen√©lope Cruz and Nicole Kidman among them), prowling slinkily around leading man Daniel Day-Lewis. But Nine is one of those rare things: a sombre musical, as gritty as it is glittery.
The story of Day-Lewis‚Äôs tormented film director Guido Contini is based on Fellini‚Äôs 8¬Ω and was first performed on Broadway in 1982, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston.
writes The Telegraph:
Its narrative bolstered by screenwriters Michael Tolkin and the late Anthony Minghella, the film for all its flights of carnal fancy sweeps us into Guido‚Äôs protracted nervous breakdown. His head often bowed in desperation or shame, Day Lewis has charisma to burn as a creator who is all burned out, and his scenes with costume designer, and confidante, Lilli (Judi Dench at her warmest and most wry) keep us on the side of a damaged soul who in lesser hands could simply be a narcissist. Best of all, this ever-protean actor can, it turns out, sing.
The result makes for a far more introspective work than ‚ÄúChicago,‚Äù Marshall‚Äôs last stage-to-screen musical transfer, and one best approached not as a literal transcription of the show but as its own ravishing-looking beast. (Quite a few of the songs from the stage version have been cut.) And as if to honour his own theatrical origins, Broadway veteran Marshall near the end groups the performers on and around a balcony in what amounts to a would-be curtain call, and why not? All concerned should take a bow.
This makes me think that Nine will do better with the BAFTAs and hence, The Oscars (which are the new BAFTAs) than they will do over here with critics and whatnot.¬† On a personal note, one thing I’ve always loved about Harvey Weinstein (and his crew) is that he makes the Oscar race interesting and has done going all the way back to when I first started cover them. A decade or so later and a gal can get a little bored of it all, especially when it all goes according to plan. I never count out anything coming from this team of folks so I’ll be excited to see how this one goes down.