Who would have thought that the only thing that could bring down the great defenders of truth, justice and the American way would be that fiendish arch-nemesis known as the Trial Lawyer? Well, come to think about it, that’s really not news, is it?
I kid. I kid. Please don’t sue me.
The Incredibles, Brad Bird’s first feature for Pixar and Disney, was the sixth consecutive creative bulls-eye by that group since the release of Toy Story. Frankly, the team at Pixar is starting to make excellence seem almost boring. Who do these guys think they are, the New England Patriots?
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.