So why has 'Nine' grossed only $18.2 million at the box office to date? And why aren't people flocking in droves to see it? As one moviegoer noted after seeing the film, "There's two hours of my life I'll never get back. That was one of the most boring movies I've ever seen." The Broadway musical-based 'Nine' has everything a feature film could want: splashy musical numbers, an A-list cast to die for, and lush European locations that would make even the most hard-boiled moviegoer swoon. Not to mention a seasoned director, producer and choreographer in Rob Marshall, whose 2002 film 'Chicago' scored an Oscar for Best Picture.
So why has 'Nine' grossed only $18.2 million at the box office to date? And why aren't people flocking in droves to see it? As one moviegoer noted after seeing the film, "There's two hours of my life I'll never get back. That was one of the most boring movies I've ever seen."
That's saying something when you've got the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz,,Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson and Fergie in starring roles.
If you haven't seen the film yet (and you're not alone; apparently, a lot of people haven't seen it), 'Nine' centers on famous Italian director Guido Contini (Day-Lewis), who's suffering from a serious creative block. Instead of starting work on his next film, Guido is fantasizing about all the women in his life.
Still, the movie seems like a shoo-in for multiple nominations for the 82nd annual Academy Awards (which will be announced Feb. 2; the ceremony will be held March 7). Our sister site, Cinematical, has placed 'Nine' in their list of 10 movies competing for five Best Picture slots. Erik Childress writes, "Of all the films on this list, Rob Marshall's musical probably has the most going for it and the most going against it. Starting with a first batch of Best Picture nominations that include the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble prize, 'Nine' is in some pretty solid company. Twenty-eight of the last 34 films to receive those three nods have moved on to an Oscar nomination."
In addition to Best Picture, (Musical or Comedy) 'Nine' scored four other Golden Globe nominations, including Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Actress (Marion Cotillard), Best Supporting Actress (Penélope Cruz) and Best Song ('Cinema Italiano').
Ok, that all sounds good, but 'Nine' isn't faring well on the awards circuit so far. The movie has failed to land any awards from the Golden Globes or Broadcast Film Critics Association (10 nominations). So how can a film that no one is seeing and that critics hate go on to earn Oscar nominations? Childress writes that we could very well "be looking at the worst reviewed film to be nominated for Best Picture in some time." Our own Chris Jancelewicz called the film "dour and depressing" and "a waste of immense star power." Here's a sampling of other reviews:
The New York Observer notes, "The characters strut and screech and shake their butts in a sexual faux frenzy, but remain as one-dimensional as cardboard."
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Daniel Day-Lewis is "an incredibly sexy man and performs all the right moves. The problem is, he keeps performing those same moves over and over, so one experiences not so much artistic angst but a guy trying to sober up from a two-week binge."
And the Village Voice writes that "'Nine' thrashes about in search of 'cinema' the way a child thrown into the deep end of a pool flails for a flotation device."
So what's so great about 'Nine'? Well, it's a lavish production, the costumes are gorgeous, the choreography is energetic, and Daniel Day-Lewis always throws his heart and soul into every role.
What say you? Does 'Nine' belong in the Oscar race? Should it get a Best Picture nomination? Or do you think it will fare better with nominations for individual actors, costumes or technical categories?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.