DVD: Nine (12)

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The Independent Culture

Rob Marshall's riff on Fellini's 8 has the same big-spectacle, glossy production values as his Chicago, and both are based on stage musicals.

The plot follows an Italian filmmaker with writer's block, whose much-lauded "vision" seems only to reach as far as the nearest heaving bosom. We see the women who have been important in his life, although they spend most of their time just writhing around in little sequinned outfits. But Nine feels hollow at its core, despite a starry cast. Judi Dench is a droll costume mistress; Daniel Day-Lewis, the anguished director, while Marion Cotillard manages to save face even as the long-suffering wife. But with a dearth of memorable songs, and metafilmic play that's not that clever, there's nothing here to make a song and dance about.