As a fan of musicals (I was raised with them and come from a pretty big musical family), I knew I was going to see this. It also didn't hurt that it was fully of people (both behind and in front of the camera) who either won or were nominated for an Oscar. But then reviews started coming out, a lot of them stating that the film was somewhere between pretty good and great, and most leaning toward merely "pretty good." I suppose this is the part where I usually do my plot description, but that's really the film's primary fault: there really isn't one. If I had to try, I'd say it's the following: a famous filmmaker, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), is having a bit of writer's block for his upcoming film. So he tries to just get away from his crew (including Judi Dench) whilst cheating on his wife (Marion Cotillard) with Carla (Penelope Cruz). There's also a reporter for an American fashion magazine (Kate Hudson), visions of his dead mother (Sophia Loren), as well as daydreams about a prostitute from his childhood (Fergie). All the while trying to figure out a script to be able to give to his leading lady and muse (Nicole Kidman).

Basically, it's more of a character study than anything. And if you couldn't figure it out on your own, over half the songs constantly repeat the name "Guido," making sure you understand this is all about him. And I don't mean this as a bad thing... I suppose one of the movie's main themes is Guido's selfishness and possible narcissism and how it affects everyone around him.

But really, there is absolutely no real plot to carry the movie, and I think that's where it suffers the most. Well that and the fact that about a third of the songs are kinda boring. I had a couple friends at the movie, too, and one of them had the complete polar opposite opinion in one regard. But as she tends to have worse taste in films, I'll go ahead and say I'm probably right in this case (and the fact that most of the reviews out there share the same thought as me). And the opinion? (Mine:) Kate Hudson's performance wasn't the greatest in the film, while Fergie blew them all out of the water (My friend: But Fergie just sat in a chair, and Kate Hudson danced around! Me: *le sigh*). Fergie had the best and most memorable scene in the film, the best choreographed number, the best edited scene, and the best song (which I suppose is why they used it in the trailer). It's just unfortunate that all the songs weren't at that same level. I'm not saying that was the only good song, though. No, there were a lot of good songs, and a lot of the songs were filmed really well. I just mean that that one was the best (in my humble opinion).

The acting was outstanding, of course, with all these great actors and actresses. Though with all these great people in one movie, you can't have them all with big parts. There are tons of beautiful women in the movie, but only a couple of them are in the movie more than 5-10 minutes (these being Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. Nicole Kidman comes in third, then Kate Hudson and Fergie). Judi Dench is also in it quite a bit, and she does really well with her role. Sophia Loren only seems to be there so the movie can go "Hey, look, we have Sophia *beepin'* Loren!" Will this one be another Oscar nom for Day-Lewis? Probably not, but he still did brilliantly as usual. And he was surprisingly funny. I wasn't expecting the amount of humor he brought to it.

Overall, the movie is gorgeous in every way possible. The cinematography is superb (and you wouldn't expect any less from the director of Chicago). The women are beautiful and scantily clad (and you wouldn't expect any less from the director of Chicago). The musical numbers are dream-like and fascinating (and you... OK, you get it). Good music, good acting, decent writing, poor plotting. In other words, it could have been better, but it was still pretty dang good.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

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