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Rent It

NINE
Beyond the beautifully orchestrated symbolism, and beyond the fanciful narrative, lies the inherent vitality of a struggling artist’s uncompromised vision. I speak not of Nine, but of Fellini’s 8½, the classic film that inspired the musical upon which Nine is based. 8½ is a masterpiece for many reasons, but it’s only capable of achieving what it does because Fellini allowed it to be so achingly personal. With Nine, that introspective quality is missing, leaving us a central protagonist that has plenty of self-perpetuating problems, but no sense of connection to the viewer. Why are we supposed to care about Guido and his narcissistic, womanizing ways? Because he’s played by Daniel Day-Lewis, apparently. Given the nature of the story at hand—a character-driven piece about one man and his relationships with the women around him—this single misstep costs the film the one element it requires most, and no amount of attractive A-list stars, gorgeous cinematography and sumptuous production design can make up for that. It would be bad enough if that were all that were wrong with Nine, but it even fumbles many of the musical numbers—its primary means of distinguishing itself from Fellini’s work. With the exception of a passionate segment featuring Marion Cotillard, the musical sequences (enjoyable though they may be) feel strangely disengaged from the rest of the film, and do little to drive the narrative forward, emotionally or otherwise. As irreparable as these flaws are though, Nine remains watchable; the cast is too good and the technical merits too strong for it not to be. It’s arguably worth renting for the aesthetic appeal alone.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca, 8 Featurettes, and 3 music videos. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Sophia Loren Remembers Cinecitta Studios featurette, and a Screen Actors Guild Q&A.

BEST DVD PRICE
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$17.99 $17.99 $15.97
Amazon – $17.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
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$22.99 $25.99 $19.97
Amazon – $22.99

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