Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nine Lives (2004) R - 2½ Stars

I'm not real sure how to rate this movie. Part of me thinks the acting is superb and the direction is most of the stories is excellent and deserves a high rating. But for me, What I don't understand is why make a movie of such great shorts, only giving you a little taste into something interesting, can then end before they go anywhere. At first, I thought it could be another "Crash" movie where the characters all interact with one another. For example, the prison guard in two of the shorts and the almost cheating mom in two of the shorts. But no one else connected other than all of them having dramatic life struggles. Perhaps they should have called it 4 lives and just focused on Sandra, Holly, Samantha and Camille. All of those I would have loved to seen more.

The funeral service scene is completely bizarre to me, the pregnant ex lover wanted her ex, the mom and her little girl, the girl returning to make amends with her father, all dramatic scenes were great acting but only for 10-15 minutes. I just don't get it. What really makes it worse, I forgot I've seen this already in 2006 but have yet to put it up on review here, so rented it again. I hate when I do that but at least my review is fresh now.

First Story: A mom Sandra (Elpidia Carrillo), is in prison I assume for killing her husband. Trying to be on her best behavior she's frustrated when she can't even visit with her young daughter because of faulty jail equipment.

Second Story: A very pregnant Diana (Robin Wright Penn), runs into an old boyfriend, Damian (Jason Isaacs), at the grocery store. He tries to rekindle the flame even though they both are married now to different people.

Third Story: Holly (Lisa Gay Hamilton), returns to her childhood home to try and make peace with the abuse she suffered as a child.

Fourth Story: Sonia (Holly Hunter), and her boyfriend Martin (Stephen Dillane), air their dirty laundry at each other in the new home of their best friends.

Fifth Story: Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), is a teenage girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She helps look after her wheelchair bound father Larry (Ian McShane), and plays interceptor between he and her mom.

Sixth Story: Ruth (Sissy Spacek), Samantha's mom needs to feel the love she lacks at home now that her husband has had a stroke and somewhat paralyzed from the waist down. She seeks the warmth of another man Henry (Aidan Quinn), in his hotel room.

Seventh Story: Along with her mother and father, Lorna (Amy Brenneman), attends the funeral of her ex-husband Andrew's (William Fichtner), wife. Andrew still has a thing for Lorna even as he stands besides his dead wives body.

Eighth Story: Camilla (Kathy Baker), has just checked herself into her hospital room while she awaits surgery to remove her breasts and the cancer they hold.

Ninth Story: Maggie (Glenn Close), visits the cemetery once a year and brings along her young daughter Maria (Dakota Fanning), for a picnic at the grave site when she thinks about life.

Awards Include:
2005 - National Board of Review - Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking

Magnolia Pictures
Director: Rodrigo García
Writer: Rodrigo García
Producer: Julie Lynn
I viewed 12/06 & 3/10

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