Thursday, February 17, 2011


It's probably fair to say that this movie was a flop, by any way you might define the term. Released on Christmas Day 2009, it was obviously designed to be a "Big Oscar Contender," but it fell far short of that goal. With direction by Rob Marshall ("Chicago") and production by the Weinsteins, I'm sure the studio thought it had a big hit on its hands. It didn't turn out that way.

Having said all that, I liked it. Daniel Day-Lewis gives a typically intense performance, and even though the intensity might feel a little out of place in what essentially is an erotic musical, it's also magnetic. He's not much of a singer or a dancer, but it doesn't really matter. He may not have looks, but he's got charisma, and he's entirely believable as a somewhat debauched Italian film director.

And then of course you have the beautiful women and their production numbers - the numbers are staged very well, and not surprisingly the women are beautiful. You've got Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson, Fergie, even Sophia Loren. They all acquit themselves well, though Cotillard is probably the most effective.

The movie reminded me a lot of Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz," and even though it's not in that league, it's close enough to merit a viewing. Not a classic, but not bad at all.

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