Friday, February 19, 2010


I find the emotional transparency of the key characters altogether riveting and refreshing. Emotional wasabi! NINE first grabbed my attention when the entire female cast appeared on Larry King Live. Seven superstar actresses helped deliver the necessary vibes and intensities for the story to come alive.

The key female characters in the life of the maestro [played by Daniel Day-Lewis] carried different cognitive and social symbolisms.

Judi Dench as the stage costume designer, Lilli, respresents the wisdom and refuge every man wants to run to every so often.
Sophia Loren as the mother describes the invisible but solid imprints a mother has on her son's heart that no woman can contend with.
Penelope Cruz as Carla is a symbol of the extent of lies and secrecy that a man would craft to contain a lawless life.
Nicole Kidman played Claudia, the maestro's muse who represent the 'better half' man always imagine exist where his wife lacks.
Marion Cotillard as Luisa, the maestro's wife, represents the stability of truth that a man needs but may contend with all his life.

Luisa sings her private pain of living with a husband who lives an illusionary existence,

"My husband makes movies,
To make them he lives a kind of dream,
In which his actions aren't always what they seem...
Some men run banks, some rule the world
Some earn their living making bread
My husband, he goes a little crazy
Making movies instead
My husband spins fantasies
He lives them and gives them to you all
Like Michaelangelo he paints his private domes
But can't distinguish what is work and what is home
Some men sells stocks, some men punch clocks
Some leap where others fear to thread
My husband as author and director
Makes up stories in his head.

Guido Contini, Luisa Contini
Number One genius and Number One Fan
Guido Contini, Luisa Contini
Passionate woman in love with this man...
Long ago, long ago ..."

Have a listen to this riveting song on Youtube - 

For me, the surprise twist was to see that in spite of the complexities of lies and fantasies that the maestro inveterately lived out, when his wife left him, his fantasies could not sustain him and the mental and real life scripting stopped. Faced with the prospect of making the movie 'Italian' without a script, he was confronted by the reality he had always avoided - the reality of home and his wife.

After a two-year hiatus from the theatre, Lilli [representing the voice of wisdom] encouraged him to write not fantasies, but what was from his heart. The maestro thus began scripting about himself and his wife. And as the play came into being, Luisa, drew near.

In all, NINE stages a boy-man growing up, and is a powerfully emotive musical with great theatrics to match.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


72 Tenants of Prosperity

As this was an Eric Tsang movie - a sequel to its decades-old predecessor - was hoping it'd be in Cantonese. This was a Chinese New Year family movie but the 'daddy' was caught sleeping through it! Frivolous plot combined with Bollywood-style dancing and low-grade actors, I found my loyalty to Jackie Chung wearing thin over 60 minutes... 

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Valentine's Day
A star-studded romantic drama released on the Valentine's season. A super star-studded movie with all the stars flicking in and out in quick succession - it's exhilerating! For the rare movie-goer, this could make up for many movies to see the many super-stars. As a V-Day feel-good prelude, it delivered the good feel! Especially memorable is Taylor Swift as the ditsy high-school cheerleader!

Afterwards, felt impulsed to invite an old friend for dinner on the actual V-Day and dinner eventually lasted 5 hours! What a memory!