One thing went through my mind during the extravagent overture of the 8 1/2 musical remake "Nine." Holy Moly that's a lot of famous women: Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Fergie... and Sweet Christmas... SOPHIA LOREN!!!
Directed by Rob Marshall (my favorite) this movie musical uses the same motif he used in Chicago (and also used in the Bjork movie "Dancer in the Dark") in which all the songs happen in one of the main character's head. Guido Contini (Daniel Day Lewis) is making a movie and has writer's block so the musical numbers throughout "Nine" are his muses singing to him. Or more like the women in his life who have formed him into who he is now. Or forced him. It doesn't matter really. Daniel Day Lewis' Guido is just an excuse to have all these gorgeous women in one movie.
I thought the device of having songs be within a singular character's head was shaky in Chicago and it's a bit shaky here as well.
Why are director's still scared to just do a musical? It's been before and I do mean recently: Rent, Moulin Rouge, Hairspray, friggin' High School Musical even.
I think Rob Marshall could've dropped the device completely.
Hollywood and audiences have viewed movie musicals as risky. Everyone's worried about if it's believable on screen to have characters just burst out into song. Some people think that the music takes away from the plot.
The thing about that is, both statements are incredibly ignorant. In a musical, a character just doesn't "burst out into song." A song happens in the musical when emotions are so strong, that mere words aren't enough. Who doesn't want to watch that. We're in this drama hungry society where everyone's on the brink of wondering about the fates of Jon, Kate and they're eight children and whether or not Octomom is serious about suing these people. So who doesn't want to see high drama? Musicals are just that. High drama. Drama so high that you've got to sing, and dance and change the lighting on some scenes just so you get exactly how these characters are feeling. That's art baby.
And that whole thing about how the songs take away from the plot. No. The plot is found in the songs. It's a musical. One thing I've noticed about audiences who don't like musicals: they turn they're attention away once the music begins. BIG MISTAKE. In these movies, songs contain important plot information that they miss out on. These songs aren't just thrown in there, they're there within reason. They push the story forward. Makes you want to rewatch some of them huh? I'm gonna watch "Dreamgirls." BRB
I love that movie. Now, back to "Nine."
Of all these A list actors, Fergie stood out the most for me. I was suprised. Mostly because I wasn't expecting her too. Fergie and I go WAAAAY back. I remember watching her when she was just little 8 year old Stacey Ferguson singing "Gloria" in Kids Incorporated and playing Sally Brown on those Charlie Brown Specials calling Linus her "sweet baboo."
When I saw her on the big screen it was like watching family. Go Fergie and your kick ass scene.
Penelope Cruz also stole the stage in her role as Carla, Guido's mistress. Her song however was auto-tuned as you can tell obviously from that last note she hits. Listen for it.
Still, very effective in her part. You all should watch her in Banditas. Selma Hayek is in that one too.
Marion Cotillard as Guido's wife Luisa left me speechless. She is GORGEOUS. She looks like she could've played Audrey Hepburn. Sometimes when I listen to the soundtrack I pretend she is Audrey Hepburn. Then I get a happy.
How can you not feel the emotion in that? Gold star for Marion. Marry me Marion.
Kate Hudson seemed out of place. Her song sounds like it would've been perfect in one of Disney's movie musicals though, or at a gay club. Check out this remix by Ron Fair.
What a kick ass song huh? Sadly I think Kate could've easily been edited out of this one. She wasn't bad though. I think Kate Hudson should do musicals more, like her mother Goldie Hawn. Or maybe Rob should've given her more to do? It's too late now. She's immortalized forever in a weird part that is almost a cameo despite being in most of the promo materials. Like Lucy Liu in "Chicago." Forgot she was in that one huh? Makes you want to rewatch "Chicago" huh? BRB
Okay back to "Nine."
This is a movie I will watch over and over again. People expecting to see "Chicago" will bedisappointed. This movie is low key. "Nine" may have musical numbers, but each one has a weird gloomy feel to it. At some points while watching it in the theater, I turned over to my boyfriend Mark who was asleep during most of it. He did like Kate Hudson's energetic song, but even that has an underlining of dread.
A movie musical that's not for everyone, but I'm not everyone. Boy when this comes out on Blu Ray I'm totally watching this repeatedly. Sorry Mark ;-)