Nine has a split-personality.
There are the innovative and beautifully designed sets, the lavish costumes, the pitch-perfect effects and bells and whistles that contribute to our thinking director Rob Marshall (Chicago) is a genius. It will rivet you to your seat and at times stuns the senses. Nine is an amazing piece of work.
Then there is the movie that — while gorgeous — is overproduced, overwritten and packed with characters that you not only can’t love but that you can’t even like.
Chief among them is Nine’s main character, an egocentric, womanizing movie producer, writer, director.
Nine is hurt by the one-note story. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful and talented actresses in the world, Daniel Day-Lewis plays the womanizing film director who seems to have much in common with this movie. He’s out of ideas. That’s secondary to being tortured by his faithlessness but unable to stop.
I’ve never seen the Broadway musical. I’m told it’s exceptional. That may be true but you can’t prove it by Marshall’s movie. The angst suffered by Day-Lewis’ character is pounded into you via headache producing cuts and edits in one tuneless, soulless song after another.
One does — however — have to give Marshall kudos for casting. Day-Lewis co-stars with Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Judy Dench, Kate Hudson and the legendary Sophia Loren who all do their own singing.
Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t do many movies. When he does, Day-Lewis always gives the year’s best performance by anyone in any acting category. Not last year. Not with Nine.
Sometimes less is more. Nine is eight too many.
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and mature themes. It opens Friday, Jan. 15 at Regal’s Columbia Mall 8.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.