Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Nines: A Movie Review

I thought for this posting I would write a review of one of my most favorite movies. This movie will knock your socks off. It has one of the most unusual formats I've seen in a movie--and I see A LOT of movies. Between the way it is organized and the general theme, I can't watch it enough.

The Nines (2007)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis, Melissa McCarthy, Elle Fanning
This intriguing film debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival
The Nines feels like an Indie film with its artsy concept. Divided into three ‘Acts’, each reveals more and more of the concept until by the end of the movie the viewer understands the main character’s motivation. The acting is superb, keeping the story suspenseful throughout.

"Part One: The Prisoner" tells of a troubled actor, Gary, who is wearing a green string tied to his wrist. This string carries through the entire movie until its significance is revealed and the viewer goes, “Ohhhh.”
Gary is under house arrest living in another person's house (who is away) because he burned down his own. P.R. 'handler', Margaret (Melissa McCarthy) moves in to keep Gary out of trouble, and the single mom next door, Sarah (Hope Davis), tries unsuccessfully throughout the movie to separate Gary from Margaret. Gary finds a note in his own handwriting saying "Look for the nines". He also sees flashes of different versions of himself around the house. He becomes obsessed with finding nines in the newspaper and elsewhere. Asking Sarah about ‘9’, worries her and she cryptically tells him "I can get you out of here".

"Part Two: Reality Television" tells of a television writer, Gavin (Ryan again), trying to get his pilot made. The show, Knowing, is about a mother (Melissa) and daughter (Elle Fanning) who are lost. Susan (Hope Davis again), a television executive, tells Gavin to look for the nines which he then writes on a piece of paper, the same piece which Gary found in Part One. Susan pushes for Gavin to ditch Melissa as lead actress, in favor of a more attractive, well-known actress. This causes an argument between him and Melissa. After a heated exchange with Susan, he slaps her in the mouth. Insulting his manhood for hitting a woman she scoffs "Do you think you are a man"? She walks away, which leads to him telling the reality TV cameraman to leave him alone. A pedestrian then asks him who he is talking to—the cameraman doesn’t exist. He notices for the first time everyone has a ‘7’ floating above their heads while he has ‘9’ floating above his own head.
A flashback reminds him what the numbers mean.

"Part Three: Knowing" tells of an acclaimed video game designer, Gabriel (Ryan), whose car breaks down in the middle of a forest. Gabriel leaves his wife, Mary (Melissa), and young daughter, Noelle (Elle) who doesn’t speak, to try to get a better signal on his phone. He meets a woman, Sierra (Hope), who leads him off into the woods to her ‘car’, so she can give him a lift to the gas station. Meanwhile back at the car Noelle watches a video on a digital camera showing Gavin talking to Melissa from Part Two and Margaret talking to Gary in Part One. She is confused and shows her mom, who appears confused as well.
Meanwhile Sierra holds an intervention for Gabriel, trying to get him to snap out of his delusion and return to ‘his’ reality.

That is as far as I can go without giving away the twist. But suffice it to say, if you enjoy a movie you have to think about and one that will stick with you weeks and months later, this is that movie.
5/5 stars
Rebecca Ryals Russell


Donna M. McDine said...

Terrific review. I never heard of this movie. I must see it now, quite intriguing.

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Sadie Heldberg said...

When I get on the internet looking for movies, it’s usually a search for the rare, and unusual. I came across “The Nines” during one of these searches and was instantly intrigued; I had no idea, how the movie would capture my mind. During my frequent business trips for Dish, I watch and prepare articles for my website, which focus on unique, but beautiful films. Obviously, this requires research, so I subscribe to Blockbuster @Home, where I can have access to new and old movies, offering me plenty of relaxation time when I’m not working, to work in my hobby. If you have not seen “The Nines”, give yourself a treat, and watch Ryan Reynolds in a type of character that he normally doesn’t play, but rocks it out of the house.