The Nines John August

The Nines John August
Constructed unlike any movie I’ve seen, The Nines is about as "meta” a film experience as I’ve had. Officially, the story is about a troubled actor, a television series creator and a famous videogame designer who seem to have a mysterious connection. After a beautifully shot intro of a man tying a green string around his wrist, we’re introduced to Ryan Reynolds’ troubled actor Gary, torching a pile of possessions before hunting down some crack and a hooker to show him how to smoke it. A brilliantly tweaked car crash scene leads to Gary’s house arrest and the arrival of Melissa McCarthy (as his pushy publicist) and Hope Davis (as his fawning neighbour). It doesn’t feel right to give up many more plot elements, as this is a story worth discovering as it unfolds. Never committing to a particular tone would hinder most films but here it’s a vital component of writer/director John August’s psychological rollercoaster. Not all viewers will appreciate the multi-dimensional approach to storytelling, the interweaving of three co-existing worlds in the segmented film structure or the metaphysical spirituality hinted at but for those with open minds and appreciation for ambition, The Nines is a rare masterpiece. A major Hollywood player as the writer of Go and The Corpse Bride (to name a few), August plainly admits in the first of two commentary tracks that the second movement of the movie is directly based on the situation surrounding his short-lived series D.C. He goes on to explain that Reynolds is essentially portraying himself in the first section and August in the second and that McCarthy is also playing a version of herself in the reality segment. A script to story to screen comparison, August’s short film God and deleted scenes solidify this as a project of exceptional scope and quality. (Sony)