Rated 3.0

This film is based on a Broadway musical that itself was based on a classic Italian film, Fellini’s 8-1/2. There is no particularly good reason for remaking Fellini’s masterpiece in any form, but Nine seems oblivious on that matter, even as the script slavishly paraphrases the original. Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) shows no particular feeling for any of it, with the result that Nine becomes little more than a collection of generically brassy musical numbers sandwiched around half-hearted burlesques of vaguely Fellini-esque anecdotes. A dismal Daniel Day-Lewis seems miscast in the central role, the beleaguered filmmaker Guido, but character is a moot point throughout. Marshall seems intent on merely showcasing the stellar set of actresses on hand to play the many women in Guido’s spectacularly confused life. Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judy Dench, Stacy Ferguson (aka Fergie), Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman and even Sophia Loren all get to strut their stuff in over-the-top production numbers, but nearly everything ends up looking like a an audition for a remake of Chicago, and the gaudy sameness of it all does an injustice to those star performers as well as to the remnants of Fellini’s characters. Overall, it has a sleazy sort of entertainment value to it—just enough to make it recommended for Chicago fans only. Pageant Theatre. Rated PG-13