Nine DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.5
Special Features 9.0
Total 7.0
Distributor: Sony
Classification: M15+
Minutes: 153 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black

7.0


Nine

Italian filmmaker Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is facing a duel crisis.  His muse appears to have deserted him, and his wife of twenty years (Marion Cotillard) looks like following suit, thanks largely to the directorís dalliances with a string of starlets such as Carla (portrayed by Penelope Cruz).  Contini must deal with both his mid-life crisis and a crisis of conscience, saving his marriage and somehow managing to script, produce and the most important film of his life. 

Based on Felliniís 1963 masterwork 8 Ĺ, Nine is an enjoyable if flawed outing from director Rob Marshall, whose previous credits include such diverse fare as Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha.  The quality of the performances varies considerably; Day-Lewis and Cotillard are utterly brilliant, but Penelope Cruz looks strangely wooden during her dance routines, and Judi Dench is her usual matronly, predictable and sternly disapproving self.  The bulk of the remaining ensemble cast, such as Fergie and Kate Hudson, could hardly be said to be massive drawcards in their own right, and septuagenarian Sophia Loren possesses all the facial expressiveness of a wax effigy.  The cinematography is brilliant, containing stunning shots of the Italian coastline and the odd cheeky nod to Fellini, but, again, the songs themselves lack the panache of those associated with musicals like Everyone Says I Love You and Moulin Rouge, and all too often descend into shrill representations of mental anguish than anything approaching a hummable tune. 

There is certainly no dearth of talent here.  Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz are all Academy Award winners, as are the director and cinematographer; and the filmís composer Maury Yeston, Art Director John Myrhe and costume designer Colleen Atwood are amongst the most respected proponents of their respective crafts currently working in Hollywood.  It just never quite seems to come seamlessly together, and though Nine is a classy and ambitious outing from Marshall, it canít compare with the effortless, lasting brilliance of its predecessor. 

On a more positive note the DVD transfer is pristine, as is the 5.1 surround soundtrack, and the film both looks and sounds immaculate.  There are also an abundance of excellent bonus features on offer, including an audio commentary from the director and producer and a series of insightful featurettes on Day-Lewis, the women of Nine, the costumes, choreography and more.  Itís an excellent package, and despite the filmís mixed reviews Iíd still more than recommend it.  Just donít watch 8 Ĺ first.  






 
 



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