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Review roundup: 'Nine'

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Early reviews for Rob Marshall's film version of the Broadway musical "Nine" seem to indicate that, as noted today on Awards Daily, the picture may see more business on the Continent than here in the States. Both the "Times Online" and "Daily Telegraph" from London were fairly glowing in their praise for the film; the latter called it "smart, sexy and occasionally sorrowful," and singles out Daniel Day-Lewis ("unexpectedly [but] brilliantly cast"), Marion Cotillard ("a misty-eyed intensity" -- wow), and Dame Judi Dench ("at her warmest and most wry."). The "Times" follows suit, describing the film "as gritty as it is glittery," with Cotillard and Dench again receiving the strongest critical response.

On the other side of the pond, however, the Hollywood Reporter's pronouncement is quite the opposite, predicting limited box office returns for a "dreary melodrama" that entices audiences with its pulchritudinous cast that is "ill use[d] to flat musical numbers that never integrate into the story." Few of the cast is spared, with Day-Lewis ("sporting a scruffy beard and running a hand through long hair only goes so far") and Cotillard ("unable to adapt well to misery") receiving the lion's share of the brickbats, though Stacy Ferguson, a.k.a. Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, is deemed "kinda fun" and Dame Judi is "fortunately asked to do little singing or dancing." Ouch.

So, which way awards seasons, based on these early returns? Anyone's guess, though Awards Daily makes an interesting point that "Nine" may score well at the BAFTAs, which may in turn aid its Oscar campaign. BAFTA winners for Best Film have echoed their successes with the academy several times in the last decade -- note "American Beauty," "Gladiator," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," and "Slumdog Millionaire." One imagines that a clearer picture of the film's future will emerge as we near its release dates (Dec. 18 for New York and Los Angeles and Dec. 25 for the wide release).

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Daniel Day-Lewis in "Nine." Credit: The Weinstein Company. 

More from The Circuit:

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Sundance Film Festival: This year's must-see (non-competition) movies

National Board of Review names "Up in the Air" best picture

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