David James
Dave Karger
December 14, 2009 AT 05:00 AM EST

Nine

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
118 minutes
Wide Release Date
12/25/09
performer
Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Fergie, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren
director
Rob Marshall
distributor
The Weinstein Company
author
Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano
genre
Romance, musical

We gave it a C

STARRING Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman
WRITTEN BY Anthony Minghella
DIRECTED BY Rob Marshall

No, the title of Nine doesn’t refer to the number of Academy Awards won by director Rob Marshall’s two prior films (Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha). Nor the combined Oscars earned by the movie’s cast, screenwriter, and cinematographer. It’s as if there were a sign on the audition-room door: Only Oscar winners allowed. ”Can I tell you something? That was so not intentional,” Marshall swears.

Regardless, all eyes are on the director’s adaptation of the 1982 Broadway musical inspired by Federico Fellini’s classic film 8 1/2. Nine follows a movie director (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggling to mount his ninth film — hence the title — and juggling the seven women in his life: his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), his muse (Nicole Kidman), his costume designer (Judi Dench), his mother (Sophia Loren), an American journalist (Kate Hudson), and a prostitute (Stacy Ferguson, a.k.a. pop star Fergie). But can Nine achieve what the last Oscar-baiting movie musical — Dreamgirls — didn’t: a Best Picture nomination?

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