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Nine is not Italian 

Rob Marshall's song-and-dance take on Fellini's is pretty weak.

Despite its nauseating refrain of "Be Italian," there's not an Italian actor among the main cast of Nine. Rob Marshall's song-and-dance take on Fellini's 8½ is a let's-play-dressup front--a fictitious reduction of another director's autobiographical classic. Marshall's numbers have neither flash nor scope. They enter the movie as psychological explorations of Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), an acclaimed filmmaker whose private life is a mess. He has more women than he can morally reconcile (that's how we do in Rome), most of whom get the chance to sing their own lust and heartache as well. Since Nine is meant as a character-study, these breakdown moments amount to little when confined to Marshall's weightless musical showpieces. His direction is so stagey that nothing seems to really be happening. Nine is fake Italian, just like it's a fake musical.


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