Rob Marshall (119 mins), starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench
This musical, a hit on Broadway in the 1980s, was inspired by Fellini's 1963 movie, 8 1/2, a dreamlike self-portrait of a director in turmoil.
Now, under the direction of Rob Marshall, who made Chicago, it has returned to the screen starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Guido, a celebrated Italian film-maker who's stumbled against a creative block. On the run from his producer and the press, he drifts into a fantasia on the women who have shaped and haunted his life, including his mother (Sophia Loren), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his muse (Nicole Kidman), his costume designer (Judi Dench), a Vogue journalist (Kate Hudson) and – the single poignant performance – his wife, played by Marion Cotillard. "You're just an appetite," she tells him, forlornly. Day-Lewis himself is passable, despite having to speak English in da ee-tal-yano accent and undergoing a "crisis" that hardly deserves the name. The desultory structure doesn't help the film, its rhythm shot as each of Guido's ladies interrupts the narrative to belt out a number. As for those songs, well, Sondheim can rest easy. You will not tap your toes, you will not come out humming, you will not want to hear their like – "Those scenes I love to see/ From Guido's p.o.v." – in a very long time.
'Nine' opens today
Arts & Ents blogs
What a wonderful way to end this momentous series in the 50th year of Doctor Who. From the start of ...
Let's talk book blurbs, those quotes you get, usually from other writers, that are meant to entice y...
Fela Kuti, Jewish food and The Great Gatsby are just some of the reasons why the rainy weather ahead...
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron at war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.