Fellini's compatriots say: Don't mess with the Maestro

ROME — While “Nine” nabbed mixed critical attention in the States, what do the Italians think about helmer Rob Marshall messing around with the Maestro? The “8 1/2″- inspired musical adaptation bowed Jan. 22 on 250 playdates via 01 Distribuzione amid what can be generously called lukewarm — at best — reviews.

Corriere della Sera chided helmer Marshall for transforming the Contini/Fellini character played by Daniel Day Lewis into a “sort of sulky, cranky artist eternally in a crisis, untrust-worthy and ineffectual and ‘like all Italians’ dependant on his mother, his wife, and his lover.

“Fellini wasn’t like that,” complained Italy’s leading daily. Website mymovies.it nixed “Nine,” calling it “a musical that aspires to travel beyond geographical confines by going against the spirit of Fellini’s imagination.”

Italy’s main news agency, ANSA, on the other hand, fairly praised Marshall for “not making that much of a disaster,” adding that Italians should be proud that “an Italian director, albeit as famous as Fellini, should become material for a musical with a megacast and plenty of songs that are celebrations of the Italian style.”

Meanwhile, in what will perhaps be considered a truer tribute, Italy’s National Film Museum in Turin on Jan 19. bowed a blockbuster show titled “The Dolce Vita Years,” featuring previously unseen photos of Rome’s showbiz underworld during the late 1950s shot by paparazzo Marcello Geppetti.

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