Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hump Day Hotties: The Cast of Nine

Hello, all. Kieran here (aka the Know nothing Know it All) filling in for Nathaniel with another edition of Hump Day Hotties. I have a problem with Nine. I'm a little obsessed, but I'm trying to be guarded about my excitement. We've heard the famous “The Musical is Back!” tune many times (and to no avail) over the aughts, that one has must be guarded. For every Chicago and Moulin Rouge!, there are several Rents, Producers, Dreamgirls, Hairsprays and Sweeney Todds (in ascending order of achievement), failing to land that elusive best picture nod. A plus: Nine is helmed by the man who last took a musical all the way to the win, and is sometimes credited for bringing the musical back (even though he didn't). Regardless of how the film fares, you can't deny that the talent has talent...and hotness in spades.

Marion Cotillard

That Oscar still burns a big question mark in my brain. I'm more forgiving than some of her turn in La Vie en Rose. The movie is undeniably (and often unbelievably) awful, but I haven't decided how much of that is her fault. Still...cute as a button!

Penelope Cruz

She's on a career roll, recently capped off with a very well-deserved Oscar win. Even the trailer seems aware of how sexy she is, showing mere glimpses of her lingerie clad legs, building up to her full awesomeness, as if knowing we can't handle her all at once.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Fun fact: Didyou know that all four of Day-Lewis's Oscar nominated performances came with accompanying best picture nominations? And...he's obviously no slouch either.

Dame Judi Dench

I don't discriminate based on age. Poise, grace and style are sexy, damn it, and Dame Judi has it all. She's always delightful, even when phoning it in. I would love to see anyone try to tell Judi that she isn't sexy, and get met with a fierce “You're not young! I say this to help you.”

Nicole Kidman

I ALWAYS rush to Kidman's defense. Her celebrity often overshadows the talent. People miss what a daring risk-taker she is in her acting choices, fixating on financial flops, rather than taking notice of how bewitching she was in her non-Oscar-nominated performances such as (wait for it) Birth, Dogville, Margot at the Wedding, The Others, To Die For, The Portrait of a Lady, Eyes Wide Shut, Fur, etc. etc. etc. And I can't wait to hear her sing again

Sophia Loren

One of the few international symbols of sexiness. She is legendary and has herself said that “Sex appeal is 50% what you've got and 50% what people think you've got.” Amen, sister.

And thus concludes my rundown of the cast members of Nine who happen to be sexy. Happy Hump Day!


Chris Na Taraja said...

La Vie en Rose may be painful, and not everyones bag, but "undeniably aweful". It had it's problems, but Marion''s performance is great. She deserved the award hands down.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Haha, so I know this isn't the place to quote Perez Hilton, but apparently, a cab almost hit Judi Dench when she was crossing the street the other day. The driver shouted, "Move, you c*nt!" Judi's reply? "That's Dame C*nt to you!" Now THAT is sexy.

Michael B. said...

I still cannot believe that Julie Christie lost. Away From Her just gets better and better every time I rewatch it. Her performance grows on you--kind of like you get to know her more and more and she becomes a grandmother type and your heart just breaks.

Still, Marion Cotillard did deserve the nomination and I'm glad to see she is making good career choices after her post-Oscar win.

And my friend emailed this to me yesterday and I love Judi Dench even more now. I think you'll enjoy this:

'Dame Judi Dench is said to have been crossing the street in London when she was almost ran over by a taxi. The driver of the taxi yelled out the window to her "You stupid C*nt," to which she replied, "That's Dame C*nt to you".'

Jim T said...

Of all these ladies I love Judi the most. And let's all stop with the Mrs Henderson performance. I liked her a lot in that film. She did everything she had to. In Notes on a Scandal she was better because the role demanded more.

Jim T said...

I so wish she was my party partner! We would have so much fun.

John O'Neil said...

Seems like Fergie and Kate Hudson were cleverly omitted. Intentional?

Emma said...

Cotillard, Cruz, Day-Lewis, all yes.

Kidman, maybe.

Paulo Peralta said...

La Vie en Rose awful ? PLEASE... are you serious ?????????? :O

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Let me clarify...I don't think that Marion Cotillard is a bad actress. "La Vie en Rose" is, for me, undeniably bad. At first, I thought it was just a general fatigue with musical biopics. But I've recently rewatched the film to get some perspective (I barely got through it a second time). Everything in this film operates on the level of excess, namely the film's structure, which I found extremely distracting and pointless. Anyone who's seen the movie knows what I'm talking about. Still, (like I said) I'm a little more forgiving of Cotillard. Her performance definitely suffers from aimless direction and haphazard editing. And I can think of at least five less deserving best actress winners without even racking my brain.

Andrew L. said...

La Vie en Rose is a great movie. It's funny how people find the time shifts confusing, yet somehow "understand" the pretension that is I'm Not There

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Andrew L. I do agree with you about "I'm Not There." I didn't care for it at all.

Unknown said...

I can forgive the lack of Fergie b/c...well, it's Fergie. But I will rise to the defense of Kate Hudson Girl is hawt AND talented.

Yes, I said talented. She has AWFUL taste in picking projects and needs to get away from trying to be her mother and/or a 'rom-com' queen (just not working) - but she was fan-effing-tastic in Almost Famous (robbed!), and I'm SO pumped that Marshall created a role for her in this. I think I'm more excited to see her in this than all her co-stars combined.

Am I alone in this? ...yes?



Seeking Amy said...

While La Vie En Rose is no great movie, it's hardly bad, especially for being a biopic, and I was definitely on Team Cotillard that year and still support her win.

That said, i'm growing increasingly worried about Nine. Word is that like 5 relatively big numbers have been cut (Be On Your Own, Simple, Nine [the title song???], The Bells of St. Sebastian, and the entire Grand Canal sequence)

There are 2 new songs (Cinema Italiano, Take It All [in place of Be On Your Own, and NOT a trio]) and 1 newish in place of Nine (La Luna Guarda? It uses music from the waltz with added lyrics)

Marion Cotillard is the only female cast member with more than one song apparently. Fingers crossed....but oh how I worry.

adelutza said...

As much as I like Marion Cotillard she didn't deserve the Oscar for La vie en rose . Hopefully she will make up for it with a great performance in Nine. Though right now my bets are on Penelope Cruz. And, as always, Nicole.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Seeking Amy:
Wow, I did not know that about "Nine" re: the musical numbers being cut. I'm getting a little worried too that we could have an "Evening" situation--a deep well of very talented actresses, but the film is severely lacking.

Seeking Amy said...

Yeah I hope not. This has all been reported from the screening on Monday (It's all over the message board on IMDB). Then again there was so much negative buzz from the screening for Public Enemies and it ended up being my favorite experience at the movie theater this year (although I know a lot didn't feel that way) so we'll see.

Seeking Amy said...

Favorite experience year THUS FAR is what I meant ;)

RobUK said...

Oh dear Christ. Seriously? Shakespeare In Love = phoning it in now?

I guess it's sort of a twisted compliment that you're saying Dench is so great that she's slumming it when she's only "good". But by holding her to a higher standard than other actresses that's sort of discrimination in itself isn't it?

RobUK said...

I go along with the criticism of La Vie en Rose. Frustrating mess of a film edited with a rusty razor blade. Astonishingly great performance though.

Christie: wouldn't even have nominated her that year. Pinsent was far more impressive in that movie.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said, with the exception of your mention of Margot at the Wedding. I wanted to like it so, but that thing was a piece of shit. And I can certainly wait a while longer before having to listen to Nic's off-pitch, paper-thin, helium-tinged caterwauling again.

Arkaan said...

1. Shakespeare in Love is phoning it in. In fact, virtually everything Judi Dench did after Ms. Brown but before Notes on a Scandal was phoning it in. There's a reason that latter performance is so revelatory.

2. It's not that the time shifts in La Vie en Rose are hard to understand. It's that everything about the film sucks. The time shifts are designed to disguise how much everything sucks. It's the Innaritu phenomenon. If you lack a soul, run around a lot and hopefully people won't notice. Cotillard is a fine actress - watch her in Love Me If You Dare (the cruelest romantic comedy of the decade), but she's shrieking voodoo doll in the Dahan film. I'm over the oscar victory, because last year's was much worse.

3. I'm Not There is one of the best films of the decade. I don't claim to understand the entire thing, but Haynes meditation on art, celebrity, identity (surface and deeper) always strikes me as very soulful. I don't see how anyone can watch it and think otherwise (well, I do, but it usually invokes a kneejerk dismissal)

4. Kate Hudson is very beautiful in the Nine trailer.

Bailey said...

Kate Hudson is NOT talented, and Penny Lane was NOT a difficult role, especially for someone like Kate who is essentially playing themself.

I will probably get flamed for this, but...Fergie, on the other hand, at least has a talent (singing), and she was serviceable as the saucy, busty decapitated ho in Planet Terror. How she is in Nine remains to be seen, but...Fergie > Kate Hudson. Any day.

Andrew L. said...

"It's not that the time shifts in La Vie en Rose are hard to understand. It's that everything about the film sucks."

How painfully specific--about as elaborated as your reason for thinking I'm Not There is one of the greatest film of the decade. "It has soul"? Sounds like unmitigated, self-indulgent fluff--a stock response to a film you're supposed to like.

Arkaan said...

Fair enough. Of course, one might argue your dismissal of I'm Not There's "pretensions" is similarly specific. I'm engaging on the same level you are.

DJ said...

As others have pointed out, there have been test screenings, and so far Cotillard is getting raves and the best notices, followed closely by Cruz. I think these are the two that will be nominated. They liked Dench and Kidman, but both have little screentime, and they say Fergie nails her song. Hudson, on the otherhand, is completely pointless in the film.

I love, love, love Marion Cotillard. She is fast becoming one of my favorite actresses. She deserved her Oscar hands down, and was also fantastic in Love Me If You Dare, A Very Long Engagement, and Public Enemies.

And Kidman has always been a favorite of mine. I think she is one of the most talented actresses.... ever. Her precision and the way she can pinpoint and control her character's emotions -- she's just such a brilliant actress.

Louis said...

I would have actually given the Oscar to Laura Linney that year (with Julie Christie a close second), and I would have been kind of upset about Cotillard's Oscar win had I not been so relieved that my suspicion of an Ellen Page victory was not to be.

That said, I think that La Vie en Rose is one of the best biopics I've ever seen. I should add that I hate biopics, that I always go in expecting something great and always walk away feeling angry about the manipulative ways in which the protagonist's selflessness or ultimate redemption has been shoved in my face. I think about movies like Ray and Milk, which receive raves but, in my mind never go beyond the very slight conventions of the genre.

La Vie en Rose at least tries to do something different. Whether or not it succeeds is up to interpretation. Clearly my answer is yes. But "undeniably awful" is a ridiculous description (and not only because definitive words like "undeniably" should be stricken from the English language...)

Andrew L. said...

I would have given it to Tang Wei, but she wasn't nominated. :\

I'm Not There seemed good in concept, but never elevated from its gimmick; a series of vignettes ambiguously tied together with themes represented by Bob Dylan songs.

La Vie en Rose, as Louis says, tries to do something new with a tiresome genre; the film, although not perfect (#9 on my list that year), utilizes a transgressive form that elevates it from the generic biopic.

Nate said...

Cotillard is getting the best reviews for "Nine" based on the early test screenings. However, people said the same thing about her performance in "Public Enemies" and I personally haven't seen anything special she did in that movie. She was okay, but nothing spectacular. That's why it is hard for me to believe she's that great in Nine. She didn't look all that interesting in the trailer. I personally think people just find her charming like Zooey Deschanel or Amy Adams, because I haven't seen anything she's done, with the exception of Love Me if You Dare, that give me reason to believe that she's this great actress.

I haven't seen La Vie En Rose. So I can't comment on that.

Alison Flynn said...

Andrew L., I'm with you on Tang Wei. She was spectactular in Lust, Caution (what an amazing first role), as was Tony Leung. They both deserved recognition but we knew that wasn't going to happen.

Jason Adams said...

I agree that LVER (love the acronym) is a great film. I'm glad to see people defending it in here because there wasn't a lot of that back in te day. It's... divisive. If that word meant "I'm gonna slap you in the face if you keep saying that," like it used to. Anyway, I love it. I gave NO expectations for Nine however. Chicago was a stillborn turd.

I want somebody to tell me the Dame Cunt story again though... please? ;-) I loves it.

Wayne B said...

Which lady will be campaigned as the lead: Cotillard or Cruz? It's so hard to tell with Harvey Weinstein being the mastermind behind the "Nine" publicity and all these rumored changes from the stage musical.

jess said...

I think "Nine" will help Kidman's future Oscar hopefuls, and she will have plenty of those in the upcoming years :

definitely a baity part

playing a danish transsexual :
- accent
- deglam
- relevent topic (gay mariage connection)
she's so getting nominated for this

the novel was a surprise bestseller
baity topic : immigration
strong part for a black actress : always good to act alongside minorities in films lol

so I can see at least two Oscar noms for her in the next three years

jess said...

Oh, and Jocelyn Pook (Eyes Wide Shut) is doing the score for THE DANISH GIRL. That's exciting

notanotherblog said...

I don't get the criticism on La Mome. It was cliched but enjoyable.

But I am slightly weary of Cotilliard's choices. She can show her acting chops and it's not like she's doing a Dan Brown adaptation. But lately she's been playing the dowdiER, loyal wife and girlfriend types of the early 20th century. That picture shows that she can be a woman of the now - why can't she be like that in a movie?

And lastly, I never thought Perez Hilton was redeemable until now.

Karen said...

This movie better be good with all that talent!

Colin Low said...

Hairspray >>> Sweeney Todd.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Cotillard's performance in La Vie En Rose is the structure. Had the story progressed in a linear fashion, we wouldn't notice the make-up in her later years and therefore wouldn't be so aware that she was acting. She's a great actress but it's a terribly directed film. I disagree with the I'm Not There comparison since that film is meant to be abstract anyway whereas La Vie En Rose is supposedly a straightforward biopic. As such, it doesn't work. And only the French would tell Piaf's story and leave out World War II.

Otherwise I completely agree with this post. I'll watch Daniel Day-Lewis in anything and the fact that it co-stars Cotillard, Cruz, Loren and Dench doesn't hurt. My only worry is Kate Hudson, the mark of the black death when it comes to filmmaking. Apart from Almost Famous, everything she appears in is unwatchable. Please let this be the exception that proves the rule.

Ryan T. said...

I'll just throw my hat in the ring with those who loved Marion Cotillard but hated La Vie En Rose. I rooted for Marion to win the Oscars after seeing the movie, but I would never ever ever watch that movie again.

Salx said...

In one post you managed to piss over Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, and all of those "underperforming" musicals that were perfectly fine for what they were going for. Meh, whatever, on to the next post.

Donny said...

"La Vie en Rose" was an excellent film, and Marion Cotillard fully earned that Oscar win. She was the best aspect of an overblown "Public Enemies", and I can't wait to see what she does in "Nine", especially if she's getting early raves already. I didn't want her to be one of these flash-in-the-pan Oscar winners so people could throw additional stones at her who never liked her to begin with, but she's making excellent choices post-win, and she looks like she'll be one of the few viable foreign actresses that makes a legitimate mark in Hollywood films. Viva Marion!

It's Cold Outside said...

Oh No You Didn't

-- "That Oscar still burns a big question" - On Marion Cotillard.

You should see the movie again, and see if you notice the raw despair in her eyes when she recalls her dead daughter. How could that not completely and utterly burn pitying sadness for Piaf in your mind?

For that moment alone in La Vie In Rose, I was jumping up and down when Christie lost and Marion won. Yes! Yes!! I was so glad to have stayed and watched the telecast.

In my opinion, she absolutely and positively deserves that Oscar and a spot right in my film heart.

Mike said...

I love Marion Cotillard's performance in La Vie en Rose, and I think she was absolutely deserving of the Oscar. One of the best performances I have ever seen.

Paulo Peralta said...

All in the movie La Môme (La Vie en Rose) is great. Great cinematography, great performances not just by Marion Cotillard (hurray for the Oscar, BAFTA, Cesar etc etc etc etc etc) as well as Pascal Gregory and Sylvie Testud. The movie wasn't bad at ALL. Probably not one of the best ever (although for me it is), but definitly not bad, awful or painfull. Come on...