… and I have some points of inquiry that I would like to post here.
1) I have never heard of this musical. Apparently it was done in 1982. I am thinking no one liked this musical for a reason, hm? Why was this made!
2) Rob Marshall, your tableaux of people are quite pretty, but they are not that effective on a screen as they would be on a stage. And if you keep making movies like this which are filled with these arrangements of the sets, then switch to directing stage musicals, stage plays.
3) The music, but this needs some picking and prodding here. Okay. I actually do like “Cinema Italiano”, sung by Kate Hudson, maybe just because it’s fun and peppy and 1960s-y. I liked both songs that Marion Cotillard sang, but I also really enjoyed her character. Other than here or there moments, the songs seemed really superfluous. They didn’t carry the story that much rather than drag it out.
4) Why bring all of these wonderful actors together if you’re not really going to use them? You’ve got Nicole Kidman, playing one of the strongest women in Guido’s life, if only because she knows that giving in to his love– or more likely, lust– neither one of them is gaining anything.
Now this was a very artful movie. Not all that arty nor all that cerebral, but it was fun to look at. Maybe it could have been better, but if it doesn’t have a story, then it doesn’t have a story. Similarly, Guido (Daniel Day-Lewis) doesn’t have a script, so he doesn’t have a movie. Meanwhile everything around him is falling apart, mostly because I don’t think he even knows what he wants anymore. In so many ways it feels like his character wants to love and to be loved without understanding sacrifice or understanding that people aren’t replaceable. It just never ends up ringing true from him what he wants or what he wants to be. So it falls flat and you wind up just watching him make a fool of himself over and over again.