the movie version of the Broadway hit, sure has some big names attached to it.
But a movie about a movie director who is self-absorbed ends up
being….self-absorbed. No doubt
they all had fun making it. But even
for a music lover, it dragged. And
it failed to capture the imagination, or produce any of the magic that the movie
itself talks about.
Day-Lewis stars as Guido Contini, the famous Italian director who is an instant
celebrity everywhere he goes in
comes the march of all the women in his life, who each have a solo somewhere:
his wife, Luisa (Marion Cotillard), herself once an actress, now
relegated to the woman waiting at home, knowing he’s with other women.
His official mistress is Carla (Penelope Cruz), whom he shamelessly
stashes in a cheap hotel room by the railroad station.
Naturally, she longs to be seen with him in public, but there’s this
inconvenience that they’re both married. A
doctor in an emergency room clucks to him about movie people that have no
morals, as if that represents the voice of the hoi polloi:
obvious, and just as obviously ignored.
is Claudie (Nicole Kidman) who excuses herself when he realizes that he’s so
unprepared that he doesn’t even have a script.
She stays for a photo shoot and tells him to call her when he actually
has a movie ready. Lilli (Judi Dench)
is his wardrobe person and kind of personal assistant, except she refuses to run
romantic interference for him, but even she manages a torch number that hails
back to the days of the Follies. (The whole thing is supposed to be set in an
earlier era, perhaps the 1950’s, as a nod to the old “Cinema Italiano,”
but that part is never quite clear, either.)
there’s Stephanie (Kate Hudson), the American writer who flirts shamelessly
with him, and doesn’t really care about the other women around him, but
finally, he realizes that he’s so emotionally empty now as to be practically
devoid of feeling. And yet all these
women keep throwing themselves at him, with the exception, of course, of his
beloved Mamma (a frozen-faced Sophia Loren), who’s obviously been absent a
while, but sweetly tells him she misses him.
finally, there’s Saraghina (Fergie of “Black Eyed Peas” fame), the object
of his childhood fantasies, who enjoys teasing a group of boys on a beach?
for his part, just continues to wring his hands, smoke cigarettes, bed willing
women, and agonize about what he’s going to write.
It’s the movie where nothing happens, about the man who can’t seem to
find anything to think about other than himself.
will have a limited audience, not just because there’s nobody to root for, and
the production isn’t nearly as clever as, say, “
Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church,