Directed by Rob Marshall
With Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Fergie and Kate Hudson
Opens Dec. 18 (limited), Dec. 25 (wide)
After the grubby space-prawn adventure District 9 and the animated film 9 comes the ultimate Nine of 2009: a Hollywood extravaganza based on the Broadway musicalizing of Federico Fellini's comic masterpiece 8½. Day-Lewis, who took the lead role when Javier Bardem dropped out, is a Fellini-like director facing creative exhaustion and seeking help from his wife (Cotillard), mistress (Cruz), muse (Kidman) and mother (Loren). There's star quality galore, which will have to sell a musical that's not happy in fact, it's suicidal and has no hit songs. The Weinstein Co., which bet a bundle on the project, laid this daunting challenge on Marshall, who directed the Oscar-winning Chicago. If he can make this one work, he'll deserve a 10.
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