Music Break: Marion Cotillard’s musical segments in NINE

I was browsing Netflix Instant yesterday when I saw the cover of NINE flashed by. I remember seeing that film a few years back and I even reviewed it. Overall I wasn’t fond of the film, it felt extremely indulgent and vapid. Despite Daniel Day-Lewis’ best effort and the spectacular female cast, Rob Marshall’s musical just didn’t wow me.

The two scenes that did make an impression on me, were the two musical segments performed by Marion Cotillard. She played Luisa Contini, Guido’s former-film-star-but-now-abandoned wife. Cotillard is also the only cast member who has two musical numbers in the movie, and I adore both of them. Kudos to composer Maury Yeston for writing such beautiful melody and lyrics of all the songs in the film.


Luisa laments about husband’s obsession with making movies, and bedding his actresses, in the sequence My Husband Makes Movies. It’s such an emotional song and Cotillard conveys such pathos in the way she sings the song. I like that the scene also shows the first time Guido meets Luisa during her audition. It adds so much to the sentiment of the moment. The song such a gorgeous melody that has a sad, haunting quality. It’s quite a heartbreaking song that it actually made me tear up every time I hear it.

Her second musical sequence Take it All is far less demure. In fact, it’s quite a seductive number as Luisa shimmied down the catwalk in sparkly stripper getup. The spirited sequence is decidedly sexual and provocative, but it’s just as sad as the first one as she bares it all, body and soul, for her husband to see just how much she’s kept on giving.


I love how passionate this song is, it’s both sexy and heartbreaking at the same time. Marion’s performance is nothing short of brilliant, I think her character is definitely the scene-stealer of the film. I dare say that she even outshone Day-Lewis every time she appeared in the film.

I still need to see her Oscar-winning performance as French singer Edith Piaf in La vie en rose. In her IMDb trivia, it’s said that ‘if she had not been an actress, she would have liked to become a singer’ No doubt Marion would have a flourishing career in that as well, heck she could probably do both. Another actor I wish would venture into singing is Ewan McGregor, LOVE his voice in Moulin Rouge!

So yeah, if you haven’t seen NINE yet, I’d say it’s worth a rent. The soundtrack however, should be worth buying.

What do you think of NINE and/or these two musical numbers?

41 thoughts on “Music Break: Marion Cotillard’s musical segments in NINE

  1. I really enjoy Marion in whatever she does. She’s a remarkable performer. That said, I don’t think much of Rob Marshall at all, and think NINE pales next to 8½ or ALL THAT JAZZ, Ruth. And don’t get me started on CHICAGO ;-).

    1. I’m not fond of Chicago either, I don’t even remember much about it to be honest. So yeah, I only watch NINE for these two segments. Marion rules! 😀

  2. I LOVE MARION COTILLARD!!! That said, I was never able to make it through Nine. It wasn’t because if lack of effort. But you hit the nail on the head as to why it fell flat for me!

    1. Hi Keith! I hear ya, it’s really not a very engaging film despite the stellar cast. It’s too bad really but Marion rarely disappoints, she’s exceptionally wonderful here, worth watching just for her!

  3. Both brilliant musical numbers with so much emotion from the woman you have to feel sorry for throughout. I liked other songs as well expect Kate Hudson’s number thought it was pointless really. Be Italian by Fergie stole it for me, but I do agree it was a disappointing film overall.

    1. Hi Caz, long time no see 😀 Yeah, she’s the only character in the film I truly felt a connection with. I actually didn’t like Fergie’s rendition, the song itself is fine, she just seems, I dunno, trashy?? I know her character is meant to be that way but I just didn’t care for it. Kate’s was ok, but just not as memorable as Cotillard’s numbers.

  4. Ted S.

    I’m not into musicals so of course I didn’t bother with Nine, I do remember though that it was so hyped up months before it hits theaters, then the buzz went away fast after it received so many bad reviews. I didn’t even know it’s based on Fellini’s 8 1/2, that was weird of them to base a musical on a classic film.

    1. Ahah if you don’t care for musicals then yeah, avoid this one. It’s worth seeing the clips though Ted, esp. if you like Marion. It’s quite a performance!

  5. Brittani Burnham

    Now that it’s on instant I might have to check it out again. It’s been a long time. I do remember thinking the lyrics to ‘My Husband Makes Movies’ were kind of lame.

    1. Hi Brittani! Oh no, not lame at all. I guess it might be if you just read it on paper but when she sang the song, it was a really emotional scene. The melody is lovely as well.

  6. Marion was easily the best part of this film. I’m still rather disgusted that Cruz took her Oscar nomination! Yes, see La Vie En Rose, although she doesn’t actually sing in it (she’s dubbed). She’s my favorite working actress right now, just an astonishing talent and beauty.

    1. Hi Andrew! Yeah I know, Marion’s performance is far more Oscar-worthy I think. Cruz basically is just being such a sleaze in the movie, heck maybe that’s what those voters like 😦

      I will still check out La Vie En Rose even though it’s dubbed, surely her performance is amazing!

  7. I wasn’t a fan of the film either as I thought it was a very overblown musical that had too many things that didn’t work and a lot of actors/actresses trying way too hard to prove that they can sing and most of them just didn’t work. The only thing in that film that kept it from being a total disaster is Marion Cotillard. Her musical numbers alone were actually what made the film worth watching. She wasn’t trying to be impressive but rather just keep it simple and when it was time for her to get wild, she does it with style and oomph. I like Judi Dench, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, and Penelope Cruz but they couldn’t hold a candle to Marion.

    1. Hi Steven! Overblown is right. Glad you agree about Cotillard though, I just wish she were around longer in the film. Yep, amen to your last sentence. I was actually annoyed by Cruz’ character and her oversexed performance.

  8. Nine is a bit messy, but I do really like it (4/5). I LOVE Cotillard’s performance, and I agree that she outshines DDL whenever she’s on screen. She’s so wonderful in both the musical and non-musical scenes, which is why I give her Best Supporting Actress that year. She just steals the film for me.

    1. Wow, you are too generous Josh 🙂 Glad you gave her the Best Supporting Actress award, you’re obviously smarter than the Academy who gave the nod to Cruz!!

  9. Marion definitely gave the films best performance, I wish she got the nomination instead of Cruz.
    I wasn’t Nine’s biggest fan, but I loved some of the tracks and performances.

    Gotta give props to Kate Hudson, she gave the best number for me (Fergie too).

  10. Hi, Ruth:

    I may wind up dragging The Rock of Shame from ‘The Simpsons’. But I just don’t get the allure of Ms. Cotillard. Yes, she’s attractive, but she possesses too much of a packaged and pre planned feel about her and her projects.

    Awaiting flaming.

    1. Ahah, I like your honesty, Kevin. Y’know, I wasn’t fond of her the first time I saw her in Public Enemy (lousy film too) but I think generally she’s great. I don’t see her as being ‘packaged’ as you say it, there are plenty of other starlets who fit that category. I won’t flame you for your comment but the other guys might if they read it 😀

  11. Nine is an okay musical at best but it did have a decent cast…Penelope Cruz being the exception. But the musical numbers were all pretty good, also Penelope Cruz excluded. I actually haven’t wanted to see this again but who doesn’t love Marion Cotillard, right? Her grace and elegance always charms the screen no matter what she’s doing 🙂

    1. Ahah, so I take it you’re not a fan of Cruz in general Kim? I’m not fond of her in this film to be honest, something about the way she talks bugs me too, ahah. But yeah, Marion is so elegant and downright gorgeous!

  12. Great to see this music break with Marion. She is perfect in really everything! The cast of Nine and the musical segments really does it for me with this one. Seeing this in theaters, it was a blast but it’s really only a more matured longer version of Chicago – sorry Rob Marshall!

    1. Hi Katy! Glad you enjoyed it. She is wonderful here, the best even amongst such a great cast. I have to admit I don’t remember much from Chicago compared to this one, perhaps I just like the music here better.

  13. I disliked the movie but Marion was by far the best thing about it. I loved her passionate and heartfelt performance and her music numbers especially Take it All were amazing. She is truly a versatile actress and she almost made the movie worth seeing for me.

    1. Hi Sati, always thrilled to see you stop by. Yeah I’m not fond of the movie either, but glad you enjoyed Marion’s scenes. Yes her performance in both of these actually made me tear up. I consider this as one of her best work.

      1. I was a lousy blogging friend lately – had an exam yesterday 🙂 My friend actually covered his ears during this movie when Judi Dench was singing 🙂

        1. No worries Sati! Sorry I just saw on your LINKS post that you had a sinus infection before your exam. What a bummer! Best of luck with your studies girl, that has to come first!

          Ahah, well Judi’s a spectacular actress but yeah, not exactly singer material 🙂

  14. Great post! Two of the best scenes in the movie, which should’ve been a lot better but I still like it. Marion is one of my favorite actresses, but I quite liked Penélope and Judi in it too.

    And YOU HAVE to see La Vie en Rose!

    1. Hi Fernando! Glad to hear you’ve seen this one. I think two of my fave actresses in NINE are Judi Dench & Marion Cotillard. Yes I really do need to see La Vie en Rose 😀

  15. back when I see this movie is when I just decided to blog about movies, haven’t seen much of it. but I did enjoy it and especially fell in love with Cotillard. First time I saw her and I’ve never seen anyone with a complete package and beauty. I enjoyed plenty of big stars in it, but I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it now. Agree with your compliments to Cotillard.

  16. Pingback: 10 Actresses I would watch in just about anything |

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