the nines (2007)

by zEke

the nines (2007)the nines. I take a deep breath. I don’t even know how to start. Certainly a movie difficult to label, which a priori is neither good nor bad. A movie that made its debut at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became later a minor cult classic for some, despite its limited theatrical release.

The experience is divided into three shorts that share the same actors, who play different characters. Are they really different? The answer to that question is obvious, otherwise we would not be talking about a feature film. Everything turns around Ryan Reynolds’ characters, a successful actor under home arrest firstly, an effeminate scriptwriter secondly, a responsible family man thirdly. And that said, you better know nothing more about the plot itself.

The whole thing falls on Reynolds’ shoulders, who seems to have finally left behind Van Wilder’s shadow and to be ready for more mature characters. And the truth is, his shoulders are strong, and he succeeds while playing a successful actor, and an effeminate scriptwriter. As a responsible family man, though, he does not measure up, but it does not hurt either. He might just look (and act) too alpha of a man for that particular part. Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy are the interesting women in Reynolds’ life. Three different characters for each of them as well.

John August, who sits behind the camera for the first time in his career, signs a commendable work. He is also responsible for the script. Script that has been said he started writing when he was fired from the set of the TV-series d.c. (2000). Gavin, the main character of the second act, might perfectly be a projection of August himself onto the screen. Scriptwriters are, somehow, like gods. They are responsible for other people’s lives. Who is responsible for our own life? August’s script might be pretentious if one thinks about what he is toying with, but it is certainly not in terms of the way it is faced. Despite the viewer will not know what is going on for most of the story, and that, will truly catch his attention, in the end all the loose ends are tied on a simple, yet meaningful despite of the nonsense, manner. Of course, it will require faith, but simple anyways.

The movie starts as a fast paced comedy with an agile editing to turn later into a spiritual reflection about our power over the reality that surrounds us. This, and some ups and brief boring downs, might dishearten some, and even offend other, but if you are ready to take the bait, it will also fish you, yes or yes.

the nines is a movie that shows itself up for what it really is only in the end, and up till then is able to suck you in as long as you keep an open mind and are patient.

For the deadhours of those who shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.

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official site | imdb

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dr.plim’s word

Few movies address the real meat and bones of our existence instead of simply playing with our pains and pleasures to attract the audiences and the money.

the nines, for me, falls into this select category of the seventh art. I found myself thinking of movies by the master David Lynch as well as another favorite movie of mine i heart huckabees (2004); intelligently structured movies with enough of an open-ended plot for the viewer to read into them as much as he/she wants to.

I agree with zEke, Ryan Reynolds does an excellent job in stepping up from his Van Wilder days and taking on the bulk of this movie. I just don’t understand what led zEke to think the scripwriter character was gay… Sure the similarities between him and John August may be striking yet… And I felt his third role was totally believable (even if the wife probably weighed twice as much as he did).

Speaking of which, Ryan does take the bulk of the movie but certainly not all of it. The three ladies Melissa McCarthy, Hope Davis, and Octavia Spencer were very good. Melissa had a large (…) role which she did very well, Hope… I don’t know why I have a clash with this actress!? Something about her just triggers me, and I appreciated Octavia’s short but key appearances!

Yeah, like other movies that actually require some degree of attention one will find reviews out there saying that the movie was boring, didn’t make sense, and pretentious… So for the viewers who do not need to know the ending of a movie before sitting down to watching it, who do not need to be spoon fed a plot, and who are interested in not judging the writer/director for his creation, I strongly recommend this movie.

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t see many movies, less still films…..but your review has interested me in this on. I may have to seek this one out. Thanks for the review.

    Best,

    ~AoB

  2. it is definitely not a usual one… hope you enjoy it or, at least, find it interesting enough…

  3. The Nines layers together nicely, certainly well done; and Reynolds was good, he’s a versatile actor for sure, but it was Melissa McCarthy who did a particularly great job of adding color to the whole thing.


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