One of the previews that I did not see before Angels & Demons, but nonetheless knew had been released this weekend, is the preview for the film version of the Broadway musical Nine. Coming to theaters this November (the official start of Oscar season), the film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, and Fergie. Yes, Fergie. Take a look, and please do so in HD…
Yes, it looks gorgeous, but it does make me nervous in one respect. Had they not provided the “From Director Rob Marshall” title card, I would have known who was directing anyway, because Nine has the exact same aesthetic as Chicago–and I don’t just mean the herds of women dancing around in tattered negligee. No, I’m referring to the fact that almost all the musical numbers we are given glimpses of appear to be fantasy. Look closely. No one is shown singing to another person. If there are other people present, they’re either apparently oblivious or knowingly placed as an audience. Look, if people can suspend their disbelief long enough to make Star Wars and Lord of the Rings among the highest grossing films of all time, I think they can handle a film in which people burst into song and dance as a means of expressing themselves to one another. Stop hiding behind the pretense of hallucination or illusion and just do it already!
That being said, I still can’t stop watching this. This film is drenched in production porn: the lighting, the costumes, the cinematography. Who knew sand can be choreographed? It turns out Fergie has quite a voice…and quite a rack! The ten seconds that follow from the 1:47 mark are enough to make me line up on opening weekend. And if the reveal at the 2:00 mark doesn’t catch your breath, your lungs probably aren’t working.