Nine (2009 live-action film)

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NineA ver4.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRob Marshall
Screenplay by
Based onNine
by Arthur Kopit
Produced by
CinematographyDion Beebe
Edited by
Music by
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company (United States)
01 Distribution (Italy)[1]
Release date
  • December 18, 2009 (2009-12-18) (United States)
  • January 15, 2010 (2010-01-15) (Italy)
Running time
118 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • Italy
  • English
  • Italian
Budget$80 million[1]
Box office$54 million[1]

Nine is a 2009 romantic musical drama film directed and produced by Rob Marshall and written by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella. The film is an adaptation of the 1982 musical of the same name, which in turn is based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical 1963 film . In addition to songs from the stage musical, all written by Maury Yeston, the film has three original songs, also written by Yeston. The ensemble cast consists of Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Fergie, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, and Sophia Loren.

The film premiered in London, opened the 6th annual Dubai International Film Festival on December 9, 2009[3] and was released in the United States on December 18, 2009, in New York City and Los Angeles, with a wide release on December 25, 2009.[4] Though a critical and commercial failure, Nine was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Penélope Cruz), Best Art Direction (John Myhre (AD), Gordon Sim (SD)), Best Costume Design (Colleen Atwood), and Best Original Song ("Take It All", music and lyrics by Maury Yeston).


Guido Contini is a gifted Italian filmmaker in 1965 at the famous Cinecittà movie studios in Rome. At the age of fifty, Guido has developed writer's block and surrealistically summons all of the women in his life, alive and dead, to help him recapture inspiration, as dozens of female dancers and the film's leading ladies appear in his mind: Luisa, his wife; Claudia, his star actress; Carla, his mistress; Lilli, his costume designer and confidant; Stephanie, an American fashion journalist from Vogue; Saraghina, a prostitute from his childhood; and his beloved Mamma ("Overture Delle Donne").

Guido avoids giving any clear answers when questioned by reporters about his new movie, because he does not have an idea for one. He creates an elaborate fantasy, where he explains that he wishes to have the naiveté of youth, yet the wisdom of age ("Guido's Song"). Escaping to a hotel and spa on the Italian coast, he places a call to Carla, his mistress, who talks seductively to him over the phone while he is being seen by a doctor ("A Call from the Vatican"). She comes to be with him, expecting to share Guido's suite, but she is upset to learn she will instead be staying in a shabby pensione by the train station.

Dante, Guido's producer, finds out where Guido is and brings much of the film's crew to the coast to work at Guido's hotel. When Guido confesses to Lilli, his costume designer, that he has no script and is still searching for an idea, she urges him to use his film to entertain, inspired by the Folies Bergère, where she "learnt her art" ("Folies Bergères"). Then Guido remembers Saraghina, a prostitute who danced for him and his schoolmates on a beach, teaching them the joy of life's sensual and sexual pleasures ("Be Italian"). Nine-year-old Guido is caught by his school teachers/priests and punished by his principal while his ashamed mother reluctantly watches.

Back at the Spa, at dinner, Guido is happily surprised to see his wife Luisa arrive. He embraces her and wishes her a belated happy birthday. Luisa, deeply unhappy, sings of the life of compromise she has made, abandoning her acting career to be at Guido's side and support his art ("My Husband Makes Movies"). She then notices Carla entering the restaurant and storms out immediately, Guido following. Luisa ignores him and leaves and, when he returns to the restaurant and sees Carla, he is furious. Guido demands Carla go back to the pensione, which leaves her heartbroken.

After unsuccessfully attempting to pacify Luisa in their hotel room, Guido meets Stephanie in the hotel's bar. She describes her love for his movies, though, as a fashion reporter, she cares more about their style than their substance ("Cinema Italiano"). Stephanie takes Guido to her room but, watching her undress, he realizes how much he cares for and needs his wife and seems to come to his senses. Returning to Luisa, he promises that he has finished with cheating. As she embraces him, the phone rings and he is called away to help Carla, who has overdosed on pills in a suicide attempt. Guido stays with Carla and, distraught, has a vision of his mother singing him a lullaby when he was young ("Guarda La Luna"). He leaves when Carla's husband Luigi arrives in the morning, and when he gets back to the hotel he finds that Luisa is gone, as is the film crew, who has returned to Rome to get ready for filming.

In Rome, Guido phones Luisa from the studio and begs her to come to view screen tests that evening. When his leading lady, Claudia, arrives and senses there is no written script, she and Guido go for a drive. Guido confesses that there is indeed no script, but he needs her to inspire one. She asks him what he wants the film to be about and his description closely resembles his own ordeal: a man lost and in love with so many women. Claudia responds that the man he's describing seems to be someone who does not know how to love and that, while she loves him, she cannot keep playing the same part in his films ("Unusual Way").

While Guido is reviewing the screen tests, Luisa arrives. She is devastated to see a clip where Guido interacts with an actress in exactly the same way he had when he first met Luisa, as it reinforces her feeling that, although she has sacrificed so much for him, she means no more to Guido than does any other woman he finds attractive. After an argument and an angry, imaginary public striptease ("Take It All"), Luisa leaves Guido for good. He is finally able to acknowledge the truth and decide it is time to cancel the planned film shoot now that he has been abandoned by all those whom he has selfishly been exploiting ("I Can’t Make This Movie"). He admits to the crew that there never was a movie to make and has the set destroyed before he leaves Rome.

Two years later, Guido is in a café in Anguillara and sees an advertisement for a play starring Luisa. He asks Lilli about Luisa when they are on a walk, and Lilli tells him that she is not going to play the middle-man. She asks if he will ever make a movie again, and Guido answers that the only thing he could think to make would be a movie about a man trying to win back his wife. She says that sounds like a good idea, and then Guido is on a film set, making that very film. He quietly directs a scene with an actor and actress who could be playing a younger Guido and Luisa, living in a small apartment and deeply in love. The cast of Guido's entire life assembles on the scaffolding behind him, including (as in the film's opening) the living and the dead ("Finale"). Luisa arrives quietly and, without being seen, watches from the shadows. Nine-year-old Guido runs to sit on the mature Guido's lap as fantasy meets reality. They are slowly raised high on a crane, and the mature Guido calls, “Action!”




On April 12, 2007, Variety announced Rob Marshall would direct a feature film adaptation of Nine for The Weinstein Company. Marshall had previously directed Chicago for the Weinsteins while they were still at Miramax. The film was co-produced by Marshall's own production company, Lucamar Productions. In 2008, a short "teaser" for the film was featured in an episode of the Food Network show, Barefoot Contessa, with the host, Ina Garten, making breakfast and lunch for her friends, producers John DeLuca and Rob Marshall, as they edited their new film, at the end being a "preview" of their film for the host to see in appreciation. In December 2009, the film contracted the soap operas One Life to Live and General Hospital for advertising purposes. The former featured two of the characters watching one of the film's trailers on the Internet on a YouTube-esque website, and there were subtle setting alterations performed for the latter, including movie posters on the walls of various public places.


On April 4, 2008, it was reported that Nicole Kidman had replaced Catherine Zeta-Jones in the role of Claudia Jenssen, who turned down the role when director Marshall refused to expand the role for the film. The film was Kidman's first big-screen musical since Moulin Rouge! After Catherine Zeta-Jones's departure, Anne Hathaway auditioned for the role, but was turned down.[6] On May 14, 2008, Variety reported Daniel Day-Lewis was in talks to star in the film as Guido Contini, the film's lead character,[7] after Javier Bardem dropped out due to exhaustion. Later, it was reported Day-Lewis sent producers a video of him singing and shocked them with his voice. On May 19, 2008, People reported the actor had landed the role.[8] Antonio Banderas, who had starred in the Broadway revival, said he was "disappointed" at not being cast, but that he thought the trailer to the film looked great and only wished the "best" for everyone involved.[9] Variety also reported that Penélope Cruz auditioned for the role of Claudia, but was cast as Carla, and that Marion Cotillard auditioned for Lilli, but was cast as Luisa, and that Kate Hudson had also been cast in a role created specifically for her which had not been featured in the Broadway show.[10] On July 18, 2008, People reported Fergie had been cast as Saraghina.[11] Katie Holmes auditioned for the role of Carla Albanese and Demi Moore auditioned for the role of Luisa Contini, but both failed to win those roles. Barbra Streisand was considered for the role of Lilli, but the role went to Judi Dench.[12]


Rehearsals for the film began in August 2008, the songs were recorded in late September, and filming commenced in October at Shepperton Studios, London. Further filming took place in Italy (in the villages of Anzio and Sutri), and at Cinecittà Film Studios.[citation needed] Nine's schedule required Kidman to begin rehearsals just four weeks after giving birth to her daughter.

Day-Lewis already knew some Italian (although he admitted to not studying for the role at a Q&A session for the Screen Actors Guild), and he frequently spoke the language in and out of character. According to music supervisor Matt Sullivan, "One day during shooting at London's Shepperton Studios, Rob and I got called into Daniel's dressing room, which was designed as a 1960s film director's office...He's smoking a cigarette, in full outfit and in character, and he's telling us how he would like to see this number that he's performing. And he's talking to us as Guido Contini. It was a really surreal experience."[10][dead link]

The teaser trailer for the film was released on May 14, 2009.



Nine Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedDecember 22, 2009[13]
RecordedSeptember 2008
GenreFilm soundtrack
LabelGeffen Records

Track list[edit]

1."Overture Delle Donne"Female Ensemble4:07
2."Guido's Song"Daniel Day-Lewis (Guido Contini)3:41
3."A Call from the Vatican"Penélope Cruz (Carla Albanese)3:40
4."Folies Bergères"Judi Dench (Lilli La Fleur)4:42
5."Be Italian"Fergie (Saraghina)4:12
6."My Husband Makes Movies"Marion Cotillard (Luisa Contini)4:48
7."Cinema Italiano"Kate Hudson (Stephanie)3:13
8."Guarda La Luna"Sophia Loren (Mamma Contini)3:10
9."Unusual Way"Nicole Kidman (Claudia Jenssen)3:26
10."Take It All"Marion Cotillard (Luisa Contini)3:03
11."I Can't Make This Movie"Daniel Day-Lewis (Guido Contini)2:11
13."Quando Quando Quando" (*)Fergie feat. will.i.am3:15
14."Io Bacio... Tu Baci" (*)The Noisettes3:24
15."Cinema Italiano" (the Ron Fair remix) (*)Kate Hudson3:25
16."Unusual Way" (*)Griffith Frank3:42
Total length:57:37

(*) Songs not featured in the film, bonus tracks.

iTunes Store Only
No.TitleRecording artist(s)Length
17."Be Italian" (club version)Fergie2:48
Amazon mp3 Store Only
No.TitleRecording artist(s)Length
17."Cinema Italiano" (the Ron Fair remix club version)Kate Hudson3:26

Original songs[edit]

Variety confirmed that three new songs had been created for the film by original Broadway composer Maury Yeston and were not included in the original stage score. They were:

  1. "Guarda La Luna" (Look at the Moon), a lullaby sung by Sophia Loren as Mamma. Yeston tailored this song specifically for Loren's voice, though he based the melody on the song Waltz from Nine from the Broadway score.
  2. "Cinema Italiano", a number which Kate Hudson performs as Stephanie. This has "a retro feel" with "elements of '60s pop" that demonstrate how important Italian cinema was in that era and to illustrate the shallowness and vanity of Stephanie.
  3. "Take It All", originally written as a trio for Claudia, Carla, and Luisa, but, just before shooting, rearranged as a solo for Luisa, according to music supervisor Matt Sullivan.[10]

Removed songs[edit]

These are songs that appeared in the musical, but were not included in the film nor in the soundtrack.

  1. "Not Since Chaplin", by Company
  2. "The Germans at the Spa", by Company
  3. "Not Since Chaplin - Reprise", by Company
  4. "Movie Themes", by Guido
  5. "Only with You", by Guido
  6. "The Script", by Guido
  7. "Nine", by Mamma
  8. "Ti Voglio Bene", by Saraghina
  9. "The Bells of St. Sebastian", by Guido, Little Guido and Company
  10. "A Man Like You", by Guido and Claudia
  11. "Unusual Way - Duet", by Guido and Claudia
  12. "Contini Submits", by Guido
  13. "The Grand Canal" (Every Girl in Venice/Amor/Only You/Finale), by Guido, Claudia, Lilli, Luisa, Stephanie, Carla, Mamma, Company
  14. "Simple", by Carla
  15. "Be on Your Own", by Luisa
  16. "Not SInce Chaplin - Reprise", by Company
  17. "Getting Tall", by Little Guido
  18. "Long Ago - Reprise/Nine - Reprise", by Guido, Little Guido and Luisa

Chart performance[edit]

The film soundtrack peaked at number twenty-six on the Billboard 200. It also peaked at number three on the Polish Albums Chart[14] and at number nine on the Greek Albums Chart.[15]


Nine received generally mixed reviews, although the performances of the cast were praised by critics. As of June 2020, the film holds a 39% approval rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, based on 207 reviews with an average score of 5.11/10. The critical consensus is: "It has a game, great-looking cast, led by the always worthwhile Daniel Day-Lewis, but Rob Marshall's Nine is chaotic and curiously distant."[16] On Metacritic, the film has an average rating of 49/100 from 33 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[17] The film was also a box office bomb, as it grossed just $19 million domestically and just below $54 million worldwide, against an $80 million budget. Despite this less than favorable reception, it received four nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards and received other notable nominations and awards.


Award Category Nominee Result
82nd Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Penélope Cruz Nominated
Best Art Direction John Myhre and Gordon Sim Nominated
Best Costume Design Colleen Atwood Nominated
Best Original Song ("Take It All") Maury Yeston Nominated
63rd British Academy Film Awards
BAFTA Award for Best Makeup and Hair Peter King Nominated
15th Critics' Choice Movie Awards
Best Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Marion Cotillard Nominated
Best Cast Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Fergie and Kate Hudson Nominated
Best Cinematography Dion Beebe Nominated
Best Art Direction John Myhre and Gordon Sim Nominated
Best Editing Claire Simpson and Wyatt Smith Nominated
Best Costume Design Colleen Atwood Nominated
Best Makeup Peter King Nominated
Best Sound Nominated
Best Song ("Cinema Italiano") Maury Yeston Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards 2009 Best Supporting Actress Marion Cotillard Nominated
67th Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Original Song ("Cinema Italiano") Maury Yeston Nominated
Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Daniel Day-Lewis Nominated
Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Marion Cotillard Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Penélope Cruz Nominated
Satellite Awards 2009
Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Won
Best Director Rob Marshall Nominated
Best Actress – Comedy or Musical Marion Cotillard Nominated
Best Actor – Comedy or Musical Daniel Day-Lewis Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Penélope Cruz Nominated
Best Cinematography Dion Beebe Won
Best Costume Design Colleen Atwood Nominated
Best Film Editing Claire Simpson and Wyatt Smith Nominated
Best Original Song ("Cinema Italiano") Maury Yeston Nominated
Best Sound (Mixing and Editing) Nominated
Best Cast – Motion Picture Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Fergie and Kate Hudson Won
Ten Best Films of 2009 Won
16th Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Fergie and Kate Hudson Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Penélope Cruz Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards 2009 Best Supporting Actress Marion Cotillard Nominated
Best Cinematography Dion Beebe Won
Best Music Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2009 Best Art Direction John Myhre and Gordon Sim Won

Home media[edit]

Nine was released on DVD and Blu-ray May 4, 2010. The DVD featured an audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca, 8 featurettes, and 3 music videos. The Blu-ray Disc included all the DVD extras including another featurette and a Screen Actors Guild Q&A.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Nine (2009) Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  2. ^ "Nine (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. December 11, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Dubai International Film Festival".
  4. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (January 23, 2008). "Work Resumes on Script for Rob Marshall's Nine Film". Playbill News. Playbill. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  5. ^ Intimate Only with Himself accessed 11/17/2016
  6. ^ "Kidman and Dench Rumored To Star In 'Nine'". Wisdom Digital Media. April 4, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  7. ^ Fleming, Michael (May 14, 2008). "Daniel Day-Lewis eyes 'Nine' role". Variety Los Angeles. Variety. Retrieved August 7, 2008.[dead link]
  8. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (May 19, 2008). "Daniel Day-Lewis Lands Nine Role". People. Time. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  9. ^ "Antonio Banderas and Laura Linney; Interview for 'The Other Man'". September 3, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c "Oscar winners abound in 'Nine' – Entertainment News, Music for Screens: Summer '09, Media". Variety. August 24, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  11. ^ Tapper, Christina (July 30, 2008). "Fergie to Play a Prostitute in the Movie Musical Nine". People. Time. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  12. ^ "Katie Holmes and Demi Moore Audition for 'Nine' Film 2007/07/01". July 1, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  13. ^ ""Nine" Soundtrack Will Hit Stores in December". October 26, 2009. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  14. ^ "OLiS – Official Retail Sales Chart". ZPAV. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  15. ^ "Top 50 Ξένων Aλμπουμ" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
  16. ^ "Nine". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  17. ^ "Nine". Retrieved June 12, 2020 – via
  18. ^ "Nine Nine Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) / Region 1". dvdempire. Retrieved February 9, 2020.

External links[edit]