Dir Rob Marshall US (15+)
Best wipe 8 1/2 from your mind, or at least delay seeing Fellini’s loopy masterpiece, if you’re going to enjoy this Hollywood-by-way-of-Broadway version of the director’s 1963 film about a fictional Italian filmmaker, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), who loses his mojo and might be about to lose his marbles and his marriage.
We still get Guido’s formative childhood memory of watching a wild woman perform on the beach (although this time it’s Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas brilliantly belting out the film’s foot-tapping anthem ‘Be Italian’). We also get the lingering ghost of his mother (Sophia Loren!), the pain of his adultery and the madness of his creative impasse.
To give Day-Lewis his due, the actor grounds the film’s sillier tendencies in a charming performance of mercurial despair. He’s well supported by Marion Cotillard, who conveys the sadness of being Guido’s wife, although both Nicole Kidman as his leading lady and Kate Hudson as an admiring journalist are little more than window-dressing. It looks and sounds nice, but lacks a discernable point.