Captives of the very relationships that define and sustain them, nine women resiliently meet the travails and disappointments of life.
The concept of criminally under seen Nine Lives is a gimmicky one, but executed to understated perfection. The film is comprised of nine brief segments, each staring a woman suffering through an emotional, physical, and/or philosophical crisis. Each episode lasts for roughly 12 minutes and takes place in one single shot. The vignettes were all captured in just one day of shooting (with one preceding full day of rehearsal). No special effects, no digital trickery, just solid acting and great storytelling.
Nine Lives was written and directed by Rodrigo García, who crafted other anthology films like Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Ten Tiny Love Stories, and the segmented, masterful HBO show, In Treatment. Nine Lives is the finest film he’s made yet, and there are plenty more reasons than nine as to why.
Click here to view my full breakdown of the film:
9 uninterrupted takes. Dialogue and scenarios a bit stage-y, but you have to admire movie actors for doing 10 minute scenes without a cut.
this is a feature length compilation of nine somewhat connected and loosely intertwined stories, each focusing on the life of a different woman. performances are all over the map: threre's everything from seriously hammy to passable to sublime (robin wright!). either way, the talent is largely wasted; the dialogue tries so hard to sound natural and Real with a capital R, yet it remains almost uniformly heavy-handed and crude. i know we're looking for insights and truths about these people's lives here, but all the conversations go down predictable paths, you can practically set the clock to each moment a character snaps, has some sort of emotional breakdown or epiphany or change of heart or reveals something "shocking" etc. it's material for the lifetime channel, really. there's not a single convincing segment that doesn't feel fabricated in some way. short cuts this ain't.
Let me explain.
These are 9 character scenes, in the style of Talking With and For Colored Girls. Film as short story - real time in a single shot. Not long enough to be called One Acts, but each still a completely satisfying piece.
Maybe not for everyone. But if you are interested in script, character and camera, this might be more complete film than you knew you could get.
[Robin Wright Penn] An anthology of nine stories. Each is a single take. I watched it for the Robin Wright Penn segment. It was a very good segment. She nailed it. I didn’t care about the rest of the movie, but people should watch her segment.
" Maggie "
The nine one-takes vary greatly in quality. The last episode, which follows Glenn Close and Dakota Fanning visiting a cemetery, is pretty good, but the real gold here is the perfect scene in the supermarket, with an absolutely incredible performance from Robin Wright Penn.