Release Date: December 18, 2009
Expands wide on December 25, 2009
Limited release

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Okay, here's where things get complicated. Nine is a musical film based on Arthur Kopit's book for the Tony Award-winning musical play of the same name. That theatrical production was itself inspired by an Italian play written by Mario Fratti. And that Italian play was derived from the Federico Fellini film 8 1/2. Whew. Are you worn out, yet? I know I am. (If not, we could also discuss the fact that in 2009, there was another movie called 9 as well as one titled District 9.)

Regardless of its circuitous route to the big screen, there's much to anticipate with regards to Nine. It's directed by Rob Marshall, who has had plenty of success in the genre. In addition to being a six-time Tony nominee, he was also given a Best Director nomination for Chicago (which in turn won Best Picture). From the looks of the trailer, he's infused the film with the frenetic tone of Moulin Rouge! while maintaining the style and pizzazz of Chicago. The late Anthony Minghella (director of The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain) wrote the screenplay, so there will be some sentimentality attached to the movie's awards candidacy as well.

The film also has a cast that's pretty much to die for. All of the following actors who appear in it have won Academy Awards: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren. Poor Kate Hudson could only manage a nomination. All of them look extremely well suited to their roles in Nine, which reminds me a great deal of All That Jazz (another musical that was nominated for nine Academy Awards nearly 30 years ago). That's a pretty big compliment in my book, and although this one wasn't necessarily on my must-see list before watching the trailer, it's pretty solidly in "I'm there on opening night" territory now. Clearly, a large part of the BOP staff agrees. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Nine
Main Cast Daniel Day-Lewis
Supporting Cast Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Fergie, Sophia Loren
Director Rob Marshall
Screenwriter Michael Tolkin, Anthony Minghella
Distributor The Weinstein Company
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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