Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What-to-Watch Wednesday: Nine Lives (2005)

What-to-Watch Wednesday: Nine Lives (2005)

A long time ago, I created a list of my top ten personal favorite movies.  Nine Lives had not yet been released.  Should I ever compile a new top ten list, Nine Lives will be a top contender and possibly displace one the films for which my affection has waned over the years.

Yes, it is that good of a movie (assuming the fact that I would potentially put it in my top ten means anything).

The film, written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, tells the stories of nine different women in short, uninterrupted vignettes.  Garcia is the son of famous author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and he has his father's gift for creating rich, fascinating characters.  The fact that these characters are some of the most real, sharply-defined female characters I've ever seen on film only serves to point out the laziness that normally goes into writing women.  With careful ease, Garcia creates nine female characters that could readily support a full-length film.

Not that a full-length film is needed here.  Each vignette is nothing short of a showcase for one gifted actress after another.  In a span of about ten minutes, the audience learns everything we need to know about each woman, her situation, and why she makes certain choices.  Then once the major points have been made, the film wisely switches to the next segment so the audience doesn't have to be inundated with unnecessary details and complication.  It seems Rodrigo and the actresses are trusting the intelligence of the audience to read between the lines and make the connections a lesser film would hammer in with the subtlety of a train wreck.

All nine vignettes are wonderful.  But, if you are like me, there will be certain ones you respond to more than others, depending on your own personal history and experience.  And, each one, just like all the best stories, will leave you wanting to know more about the women featured.

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