MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: +2

Daniel Day Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Judi Dench, Fergie, Sophia Loren. Musical. Written by Michael Tolkin, Anthony Minghella. Directed by Rob Marshall.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Director Rob Marshall (Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago) restages the hit Broadway musical about a genius filmmaker undergoing a personal and professional crisis. Famous film auteur Guido Contini is a womanizer, which has led him to a self-analytical examination. In other words, he’s feeling guilty about cheating on his wife. Loosely based on Fellini’s 8 ½, it also is reminiscent of All That Jazz, with stylish hints of Chicago. The Maestro looks back over his life, seeking where he went wrong through reflections of time spent with several provocative women, including his mother, his wife, his mistress, his film star muse, his confidant and costume designer, an American fashion journalist, and the prostitute who lived by the sea when he was a child.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I must be somewhat cautionary about my praise for this film as the movie features some of the most remarkably beautiful women in Hollywood, accentuated by a gilded Renaissance glow and a camera that reveals all that is seductive about the female form. This can lead to lustful thoughts, especially during each lady’s musical number, which is heightened by a camera that roams over her form like a generous lover. While the camera is more tactile than reverential when examining Fergie, Penelope and the rest as they perform their musical solos, one can also look upon these beauties with enormous artistic appreciation. Looking at Ms. Cruz, Ms. Kidman, Ms. Hudson and especially the ageless Ms. Loren, you realize that woman was God’s most elaborate creation. Her form goes beyond the sparkle of the stars, the glimmer of the sea, or the shine of the sun.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s the other reason for my delight with this film. It contains a strong moral (once you get past Kate and Fergie sending the untrue message, “You can have me if you want me”). A man comes to realize that a gluttonous appetite leads to spiritual decay. By film’s end, our protagonist has learned that one wrong turn leads to another and another, until suddenly, you become conscious that you are lost. Who can’t relate to that? At some point, we all go astray and each effort to get back on track seems miscalculated. Fortunately, those seeking God’s truth can rest in the fact that we have a beacon that lights our return. Our God is merciful, our Savior loving, and our Holy Spirit generous. As we strive to find that right path, we can be flooded with guidance and assurance. We pray, we read His Word, we fellowship with Believers and just as suddenly as we were lost, we see His guiding ray.

The blending of just the right proportion of cinematic ingredients (cinematography, lighting, locations, set and art design, performances and narrative drive) makes for an opulent, if somewhat bawdy morality tale. I was moved by its theme and the artiness of the production. My conclusion: Nine is a masterpiece. And so is Sophia.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
The Weinstein Company

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Alas, two profane uses of Christ’s name, one by Dame Judi, who I love, making the infraction just that more irritating.

Violence: None

Sex: The lead is married, but has a mistress and it is suggested that he has had many an affair – this however, has led to great unrest.

Nudity: No nudity, but most of the women are seen in provocative clothing and gyrating in dance alluringly. Make no mistake, the film is sensual, but most sexual activity has been implied rather than graphically shown. Still, if you struggle with lust, you might want to pass on this one.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Occasional social drinking; several attractive people smoke, a lifetime of tobacco inhaling having yet to take its destructive toll.

Other: None

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and above

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