Is Nine a Bad Musical or Just a Bad Movie?

GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Unfortunately, the 2009 film has been my introduction to it. The score doesn't really get to shine in that context, mostly due to the restrictions of Rob Marshall's beloved "show within Roxie/Guido's mind" concept. But what's the general consensus on it? Of course I'm familiar with Anita Morris' costume and A Call from the Vatican choreography. I'm not really a fan of Maury Yeston, mostly because I sat through Death Takes a Holiday. Is this his magnum opus, or would that be Titanic?
I leave the room smiling.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
It's an absolutely INCREDIBLE musical that was sadly given the Rob Marshall treatment.
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Well, if you're looking for a general consensus, you can also look at the show's great showing at the Tony awards both when it opened in 1982 and when it was revived recently. It's a gorgeous show, featuring a series of showstopping numbers after another. What Marshall/Weinstein (I still blame Weinstein for a lot of the egregious things that happen in the movie, like the addition of Kate Hudson) sadly missed with his film is that the show is supposed to be fun and affective as well as it is supposed to be serious and sexy. Also, much like the 1960s GYPSY film, the battle was lost soon as the lead was cast--Daniel Day-Lewis was never ever gonna be a good Guido. Listen to both cast recordings, they are perfection in their own way. Also, check out the Tony award performance from the 80s, it's pure joy, which is something the film was simply not interested in capturing.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Updated On: 11/19/13 at 06:00 PM
MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
Guido is a self righteous, pretentious bore in the movie.
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
I enjoyed the movie.
Just give the world Love.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Great show. Horrendous movie.
Mary had a little lamb : The PC signature line.
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
It is not a GREAT show. (I think it has some book flaws.) It's a good show. HOWEVER...it is a phenomenally inventive and beautiful score that ought to be in any self-respectiving musical theater lover's cast album library. (EIther production is fine, but REALLY...I mean, nothing tops Karen Akers, Anita Morris and even Raul Julia, high notes and all, on the original album.)

The movie f*cked it up. I think the show is so theatrical and so much about performance that a movie isn't necessary, despite being about a film director and being based on 8 1/2. One could argue that CHICAGO, too, falls into the same category, but CHICAGO has a pretty linear narrative. NINE really doesn't. And Marshall is not Fellini, or Tommy Tune.
Owen22
Broadway Star
joined:2/24/11
NINE is one of the great musicals. It has a score full of "perfect" numbers and the book actually improves upon the characters in "8 1/2", I think they're deeper (especially Louisa). What they did to the characters in the film was mostly a disaster. Except for Penelope Cruz who transcends the material.
aasjb4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/09
I love that musical more with every listen.

I hate the movie more every time I think of it.
What a colossal piece of crap! It'll probably run for years.
Mattbrain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/05
Hate is not the word I would use for this movie but I just felt so unsatisfied coming out of it.

Now the stage musical….that is gooooooooooood sHit.
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."
Updated On: 11/19/13 at 06:57 PM
GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
What do you guys think of the songs added for the movie? Cinema Italiano is idiotic but I liked Take it All.
I leave the room smiling.
Jeffrey Karasarides
Stand-by
joined:11/27/11
Hear's what Maury Yeston had to say about the film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVeycAazW7s
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Maybe because Maury Yeston is a very nice, generous guy and figured, "Hey, why not try this?" Also, in some cases, you need a new song for cinematic reasons. CABARET definitely needed that new "Money Song." A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (as bad as the film is) needed a new "Glamorous Life" (which is a very good song). He likely felt that some moments in NINE needed similar treatment.

I'm not the world's biggest advocate of stage to screen adaptations, especially when the shows use stage space and theatricality as brilliantly as NINE (and FOLLIES, and COMPANY, and most Sondheim shows, honestly). But I think there could have been a good movie in INTO THE WOODS in Jim Henson hadn't died. I'm sort of skeptical about this upcoming one. Sue me. (Speaking of...not a very good movie musical.)
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
They killed the movie when they cut "Getting Tall."
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
Charley Kringas Inc
Stand-by
joined:8/12/11
It took me a while to get into the musical but it really is very good. The film is bad. For some reason instead of maintaining Nine's slight, but defined, separation from Fellini's 8 1/2 Rob Marshall and co went barreling straight at it, not only restaging scenes but using the dialogue and going so far as to shoot at the same hotel featured in 8 1/2. It was completely bizarre. To add insult to injury, he takes every single song OUT of the story and puts it into a vaudevillian showcase set in and around the film set in the film, which means that, for example, instead of a desperate lie told to the press, My Husband Makes Movies becomes an internal monologue, which is completely ridiculous. It's as if Rob Marshall didn't want to make a musical at all.

Also, yeah, Cinema Italiano is pretty crappy but Take It All is good. That total vengefulness is totally thrilling.
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Yeah, I'm not really sure why Marshall and Weinstein were so obsessed with replicating 8 1/2 when NINE merely uses 8 1/2 as a gateway to tell a completely different story. I actually truly enjoy the movie even though I know it's pretty terrible, I'm just a sucker for the material and those actresses. Yes, cutting "Getting Tall" was a mind boggling move, but to me, the most perplexing thing about the film is the fact they did away with the fact Guido is working on a musical! Which, you know, completely explains the fact these characters are singing, especially if Marshall and co were so worried about why these characters would sing. It just didn't make any sense at all, same with casting Judi Dench as Lilliane, what a misguided choice. Ahh.
I agree re Penelope Cruz, she "gets" it (though don't get me started on the awful ending they gave her character). And I know people don't like her singing, but I adored Marion Cotillard in this movie and think she was robbed of an Oscar nomination. But God, Daniel Day-Lewis was so utterly miscast, he was insanely pretentious without any musicality; it not only didn't make sense that he sings, but it definitely didn't make sense why he'd imagine things in terms of musical numbers (which fit so beautifully with Roxie in CHICAGO).
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
GottaHaveAGimmick
Featured Actor
joined:3/15/08
My first look was during the all-star revival. Antonio Banderas made it so easy to see why all the women wanted to be a part of his life. And the cast? Laura Benanti, Jane Krakowski, Chita-friggin'-Rivera? Hello?

The movie was so droll. And it's especially hard to film an interesting 'concept musical.' They work better on the stage. There's very little plot and movie audiences get bored easily. Most of the action is internal, inside Guido's mind, as he wrestles with his creative block.
GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
I love Judi Dench in anything and thought Follies Bergeres was the highlight of the movie.
I leave the room smiling.
Mattbrain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/05
What personally amazed me was they had a set as massive as all that and they still cut the entire Grand Canal sequence.
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I cringe when I think of the meat ax they used on the score.
Mary had a little lamb : The PC signature line.
evic
Leading Actor
joined:3/5/04
The original was breathtaking; the revival was good; the movie was a disaster of unmitigated proportions. Just think what Fosse could have done with it were he alive or interested, which I think he would be because the piece is about sex, infidelity and show biz-things he was expert at. Agree about the stupidity of cutting "Getting Tall"..I wept everytime I saw it onstage with older Guido and his 9 year old self singing together.......
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
I love Judi Dench in anything and thought Follies Bergeres was the highlight of the movie.

Learn more about the musical, and then you'll understand why casting Dench in that particular role was an atrocity. The number makes absolutely no sense in the film, why is this British costume designer singing about the Follies Bergeres? There's no point to it, and no, the line "just like when I used to work at the Follies Bergeres" doesn't work. In the musical, the song is there to establish the struggle Guido is having with his producer and her desire for him to produce a fluffy film, rather than something artful. It also cleverly introduces the relationship between the critic and the artist, all of which is gone from the film rendition. It brings the movie to a halt and they really missed the chance to cast someone like Juliette Binoche or, even better, a Leslie Caron type (I believe Marion Cotillard auditioned for Lilliane originally, so they were gonna go French with the character at first).
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
It is a very bad movie from a very enjoyable show.
Tigger
Understudy
joined:3/18/05
I remember seeing Nine on the same weekend as I saw Dreamgirls in new York in 1982. I was knocked out by Jennifer Holiday's amazing performance and energy as well as the rest of the cast and actually saw it twice, once on the friday night and then again the following saturday matinee as I couldn't believe what I had seen the night before. Then I went to see Nine on the saturday evening. I loved the first act and literally had to struggle to keep awake in the second act as it seemed to drag interminably. I much preferred listening to it on tape after having seen it. I never considered seeing it again until the movie came out. At the time, I was flabbergasted that it won Tonys over the far superior Dreamgirls. The movie of Nine had its moments but it just didn't hang and flopped. Fergie and Cotillard were by far the best things in it. Interestingly the movie of Dreamgirls was a hit and as we all know, an Oscar winner for Jennifer Hudson.
"Extraordinary how potent cheap music is..." Noel Coward-Private Lives
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Several months before the film was released, Barbara Walters said she had seen a preview. "I didn't like it," she said. And I thought, "Wow, if that auld ass-kisser Babs Walters is saying on national television that she didn't like it long before it's released, it must really be a stinker."
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
It's a good musical. And a terrible film.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.

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