The MichaelVox Movie Review Weblog
Proudly Spewing Unsolicited Film Opinion Online Since 1996
July 6, 2006
English / ASL
Every Life Has A Story. And Every Story Has A Life Of Its Own -- NINE LIVES.
Extremely compelling collection of intertwined, short stories. A fabulous group of actresses including Glenn Close, Robin Wright, Kathy Baker, Molly Parker and Ian McShane from DEADWOOD, the teenage girl from BIG LOVE, Amy Brenneman, and a bunch of others. Oh yeah, goddess Holly Hunter as well. All of the stories seem to connect with every other story. A woman in prison, a chance meeting in a supermarket, an awkward dinner party, a funeral, etc. It seems to work. The short portion in the supermarket with Robin Wright Penn and Jason Isaacs was particularly memorable. They tell us everything we need to know about their past using only their faces and a few lines of dialogue.
A fantastic technical part of the film was that each of the nine vignettes was filmed in a single steadycam shot. That means in some cases we're following characters as they walk, in some cases we are watching the person listening, not the one speaking, and the timing for entrances and exits has to be perfect. We seem to circle the actors as they go about their daily lives. There were probably some flubbed lines, but that only made the scenes more natural. This is so rare in films today. It is perfectly on display right away, during the first story when a prisoner is calmly mopping the floor, then noticing the clock, rushes through corridor after corridor showing her pass, until she ends up at the visitor's area where her intercom phone doesn't work. She changes from calm to livid-crying at the drop of a hat. This is after 13 minutes or so of single-take acting and action and dialogue.
Worth a look.