Nine is a 2009 movie adaptation of a Broadway musical of the same name which was in turn inspired by Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical film, 8½. Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a gifted film maker on the cusp of his fiftieth birthday. Struggling for ideas on the back of a series of flops, he flees to a remote health spa and turns to the women in his life for inspiration. The movie is notable for containing several fleeting performances from some of the most beautiful and talented women in Hollywood as well as Kate Hudson. Although poorly received by critics and a certified box office failure, the movie garnered four Academy Award nominations and in my opinion contains some superb cinematography as well as a couple of great performances.
The main problem with the movie for me is that it isn’t 8½. There are a few scenes, especially those featuring Day-Lewis and Penelope Cruz, which look like shot for shot recreations of Fellini’s masterpiece and these bought back happy memories of watching that movie. During a lot of the other scenes I just wished that I was watching Fellini’s film. The problem with making a movie based on such a well respected source is that you’ve got to make it pretty special to make people want to watch yours instead of the film you’re basing your work on. In the case of Nine, it just made me remember how good 8½ is.