19 February 2010

Nine (Rob Marshall, 2009)

I expected a dumbed down remake of but it's actually a little more complicated than that. I mean, it certainly seems like more of a commentary on and a conversation with the original film. I think I appreciate the original film now in ways I hadn't before. I kind of feel like the film wasn't amazing by any means but that it's somewhat undervalued and I feel like that has to do with people's expectations, wanting another crowd-pleaser like Chicago, and with their unfamiliarity with the Fellini film. I kind of like the way Guido is takes his experiences and learns from them in this version, achieves a bit of humility. He's certainly more reflective here and the women make more of a stand here than in the original film. Perhaps it seems like revisionism or maybe adding a more satisfying ending can be called pat but I like that conversation. I like that it's sort of a musical and it sometimes seemed like a collection of musical videos--that's certainly what people say about it--but the music doesn't really stand out at all. I wondered throughout the movie why they don't adapt great musicals, of which I think there are some. You'd never know it by things like the Broadway in Chicago series (If that's what Broadway is, you can keep it!) but there are great musicals; I'm sure Hollywood would ruin them anyway. I liked it by the end, in any event. I think Penelope Cruz is good in it but she has such a small part, it doesn't seem like she has a chance for the Oscar she's nominated for, unless people (very unlikely) vote for her on the strength of her delightful turn in Broken Embraces. The nominated song is better than most of the other nominees but, as usual, all of the nominees are sort of hokey. My favorite of those is definitely "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart and this one is okay, as is the one from Paris 36. The two from the Disney movie on the other hand are kind of horrible, which is a good indication that one of them will win the award. It's interesting that I can't say that I loved any particular character or song or anything from this movie, it's more the conversation with the Fellini film that appealed to me... B

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