Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Black Sheep Previews: NINE

Go ahead ... click the video. Watch it. I have. And let me tell you, you should. It's pretty darn exciting.

In 2002, Rob Marshall shimmied his way downstage like it was nobody's business with the Oscar winning musical that restored faith in the musical genre itself, CHICAGO. He also garnered an Oscar nomination for himself as Best Director. Not too bad for his first feature. In 2005, he took his promise and practically squandered it all on the gorgeous but hollow, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. Four years have now passed and Marshall has returned to what he knows he can do well, the musical. NINE originally opened on Broadway in 1982. It was based on an Italian play that itself was inspired by Federico Fellini's autobiographical film, 8 1/2. The premise, in which a director has come to a creative and existential midlife crisis and is torn by the abundance of women in his life, is convoluted enough but the cast, the cast is bewildering. Daniel Day-Lewis will sing as the lead, Guido Contini. We don't hear him sing in the trailer but there isn't anything Day-Lewis can't do. As if that weren't enough though, the women in his life will be played by Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Fergie and Sophia Loren. That is a lot of lady and a whole lot of potential for drama.

The trailer is as playful as it is colorful. Marshall seems bent on humbling his own persona as Dench goes on about how little a director truly does but then shoves so many visually startling images in our faces as if to say, "THIS is what a director does!" I know what I'll be doing on November 25 when NINE is finally released.

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