By Charly SHELTON
For those of you who have seen “Chicago” and loved it, this is a movie-musical for you. Director Rob Marshall, who also directed “Chicago,” takes up this adaptation of the stage musical of the same name, which was itself an adaptation of the classic Fellini non-musical film, “8 ½.”
The story of this version centers around Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), master writer/director, who is going into production on his next film in 10 days, and he still hasn’t written page one of his script. This is going to be the film that brings him back on top after reeling from several flops. For this he must call on all his muses, which happen to be all the women in his life: Nicole Kidman, his leading lady; Marion Cotillard, his wife; Judi Dench, the costumer of the film who keeps him grounded; Kate Hudson, the cute American reporter who covers Guido’s film as it is being made; Fergie, a sex idol he remembers from childhood; Sophia Loren, Guido’s mother; and Penelope Cruz, his mistress. All of these women play a prominent role in Guido’s life, and they explain the story through song as we watch the days count down to production start.
This is a great movie. Imagine if “All That Jazz” and “Chicago” were combined into one great film, this would be it! Good music, great sets, wonderful dance numbers, great acting – this movie has something for everyone. Although originally rumored to have Javier Bardem as the leading man, Day-Lewis was great in the role, not surprisingly stealing the show. “Chicago” star Catherine Zeta-Jones was also attached to the film at one time, but reportedly quit over a dispute with the director about her role being too small. She was replaced by Kidman. Director Marshall has landed another success after the aforementioned films, as well as directing “Memoirs of a Geisha” and finally confirmed after months of speculation, he will be directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment in the “Disney Pirates” franchise. This film is sure to bring him some attention come Oscar time, but with heavy hitters such as “Invictus,” “Avatar,” and the yet-to-be-released “Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” it is still up in the air as to who will take the nomination, and who then will win.
Rated R for sexuality, I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.