Monday, November 16, 2009

Hollywood's Christmas Present to Me

Peter Jackson gave me my last favorite Christmas present movie with his underrated King Kong remake. But I think Rob Marshall is about to give my next one.

Judi Dench; Marion Cotillard; Sophia Lauren; Nicole Kidman; Kate Hudson; Penelope Cruz and Black Eyed Peas' front woman Fergie -- Seven (Okay, five) of the most beautiful actresses in the world and seven of the nine women in the life of Italian director Guido Contini (Daniel Day Lewis). Nine is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, itself based on Italian director Frederico Fellini's semi-autobiographical film 8 1/2. The original Broadway cast starred the late Raul Julia and the late Anita Morris and was directed by Tommy Tune. A more recent revival starred Antonio Banderas; Tony Award-winner Jane Krakowski; Mary Stuart Masterson and Broadway legend Chita Rivera (remind me to tell you about seeing Chita in Kiss of the Spiderwoman sometime - one of my favorite times at the theatre).

The newest trailer for Marshall's version is out, featuring Hudson (looking more like her mother in that 60's mini, than ever), singing "Cinema Italiano." And it's just as terrific as the first trailer featuring the song "Be Italian." Director Rob Marshall's near-perfect adaptation of Kander and Ebb's Chicago won the Academy Award for Best Picture (the first musical to do so in a very long time) and helped (along with Baz Luhrman's gorgeous Moulin Rouge) reinvigorate the genre. Without Chicago, we would never have gotten to see that rather remarkable performance of John "I'm-a-Scientologist-Maybe-But -I'm-Definitely-Not-Gay" Travolta's in Hairspray. Of course, Marshall's follow-up to Chicago was the pretty but vacant Memoirs of a Geisha, not exactly Oscar material. Still, from the looks of the two trailers, he may very well have redeemed himself. And maybe it's a sign he should stick to what he does best.

Here's the new trailer (via):

And the original:

This is what happens you start your theatrical life in Musical Theatre. You may grow away from it now and then, but it's in your blood and there is sometimes nothing better. And I'll tell you a secret... I really wish we could just burst out into spontaneous song when mere words aren't enough to express our emotions. I suppose every day would look something like this:

(God, sometimes I am so gay...) And, in full disclosure, I had a massive crush on Kate's dad in the late 70's. "The Hudson Brothers" was a Saturday morning staple in my house:

So 70's. And for those who care, Razzle Dazzle supporting actor Murray Langston also appeared on alleged CIA spy Chuck Barris' "The Gong Show" as 'The Unknown Comic.'

What a strange and wonderful thing Stream of Consciousness* is. I certainly had no intention of ending with bad prop comedy when discussing Nine, but there you go.

*And in no way am I comparing myself to Joyce; just citing a reference. Calm down, eggheads.

More, anon.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I can't wait!!!
The cast was on Oprah today. I have not seen, but have it on DVR. You wanna come over & watch?