Barbie World + Rob Marshall

Chicago — And All That Jazz!!!

Chicago Billboard

Chicago | Billboard, Broadway, NYC

Faster than Fellini but not as quick as Chicago, director Rob Marshall's big screen adaptation of Broadway musical Nine will leave you divided.

On one hand, it's a visual feast with crisp, clear camera work and a dynamic cast. On the other, the time between musical numbers drags and the storyline is linked together clumsily. The audience were equally as undecided about whether to hate it or love it. While one couple walked out of the film after 15 minutes, another group were cheering and clapping right up to the end credits.

Nine follows Italian film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his relationship with the women in his life when he gets writer's block in the lead up to the filming of his new `masterpiece' Italiano. Marshall has assembled what will undoubtedly be the best cast of the year, with Day-Lewis supported by Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren and Fergie (from Black Eyed Peas fame).

The women are the stars of this film and they keep it afloat, with Fergie's ferocious performance of the song Be Italian the standout number. She belts the hook line with such emphasis you are sure her vocals will bring the set down around her. A real surprise is Hudson, who makes an impressive transition from comedienne to musical star as the sexually charged reporter. There's nothing wrong with the performances as a whole; Dench punches, Cruz purrs and Cotillard is poised but the vein in Day-Lewis' forehead has more personality than Kidman's character.

While 2007's reimagining of Hairspray gained fans from the most unlikely of places, Nine will do little to convert if you are not already a fan of the cinematic musical. For every Cinema Italiano there's a lacklustre musical number like My Husband Makes Movies and sure, the costumes are exquisite but a sparkly corset doesn't make up for the dull scenes linking the musical numbers.

It lacks the pop of Marshall's Oscar-winning version of Chicago and those expecting the same vivacity will be disappointed.

Chicago, cinematic musicals, Daniel Day-lewis, Fergie, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Nine, Penelope Cruz, and more:

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