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Nine Lives
DVD disk
Mar 28, 2006 By: Scott Weinberg
Nine Lives order
Director:
Rodrigo Garcia

Actors:
Glenn Close
Kathy Baker
Holly Hunter

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Nine stories about nine different women, and each story is done in one continuous shot.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I'd heard both raves and razzes for Rodrigo Garcia's NINE LIVES. Some call it a brilliantly insightful look at the worlds that modern woman lives in; other dismissed it as cinematography experimentation, with only a cursory attempt made toward sincere emotion and narrative structure.

Call it an experiment if you will, but I'll be siding with the fans of the flick -- although I wouldn't go so far as to call it earth-shatteringly brilliant. How much you dig the flick will most likely depend on how quickly you can "connect" with the varied women who make up the 9-course movie menu.

Fortunately we're treated to some really great actresses, and it's seeing some familiar faces do some excellent work that helps one to appreciate the simple pleasures of NINE LIVES. Robin Wright Penn as a woman haunted by an ex-lover; Holly Hunter as a warm woman dating a cold fish; Amanda Seyfried as a beautiful young woman trapped by parental responsibilities; Sissy Spacek as a devoted housewife contemplating adultery; Glenn Close as a mourning mother visiting a cemetery; Kathy Baker as a brazen broad shaken by her fear of an impending mastectomy...

Yeah, it all sounds pretty doom & gloom-ish, but there's also some real heart, humor, and hope to be found in NINE LIVES. Although each successive story stands alone, you'll enjoy noticing that several of the peripheral characters pop up from time to time. It's as if we're randomly eavesdropping on the private concerns of one particular neighborhood ... a neighborhood that sure has its fair share of heartache.

THE EXTRAS
There's a fantastic 73-minute Q & A Session with writer/director Rodrigo Garcia and actors Amy Brenneman, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Kathy Baker, and Joe Mantegna. Moderated by David Lee Strasberg, this is a packed session, with tons of anecdotes and insights from the filmmakers.

Four featurettes are also included: The Women of NINE LIVES (6:50), Sonia: Blocking a Scene (7:32), Working with One Continuous Take (8:45), and Maggie: A Day at the Cemetery (4:37) take you back-stage and on-set of this decidedly unique little movie. Those who enjoyed the flick will dig the featurettes. Those who fell asleep during the movie won't need 'em.

Rounding out the extras is a bunch of trailers for THE TENANTS, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, THE DYING GAUL, LONDON, SUENO, ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, SAINT RALPH, JUNEBUG, THUMBSUCKER, and SARABAND.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Taken solely as a curiosity, NINE LIVES still works. Nine stories done in nine single-take shots? Neat-o.
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