Poor old Michael Mann. Here he was getting ready to make what was going to be the Lawrence of Arabia/Citizen Kane of cops-and-robbers movies, and he thought he had the legendary Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino working together for the first time. What happens? They pull a switcheroo on him and stick him with the world’s worst Pacino impersonator. Continue reading
Nine Lives is the movie equivalent of an anthology of short stories, incorporating the tales of nine women whose lives have trapped them inside personally untenable situations. It’s also a stylistic experiment, because each story is filmed in a single, unbroken eleven to fifteen minute take. This unique approach turns each episode into a one act play. It also gives the stories an immediate, fly-on-the-wall quality that heightens the sense of reality onscreen.
The stories themselves lack any grand, life-changing arc that you expect from more conventional movies. These are moments out of nine lives (natch) captured voyeuristically. The script by writer/director Rodrigo García captures the natural rhythms of the way people talk (rather than the way movie characters talk). The characters are sharply etched portraits of largely unremarkable, but compelling people we might know, but in shoes we’re glad we’re not walking.