Nine Lives

Want to see some stellar, no-holding-back acting?

Check out Rodrigo Garcia’s “Nine Lives,” (2005) a series of loosely connected vignettes about nine women living in Los Angeles.

The entire cast (way too many to list here) give outstanding performances (especially Robin Wright Penn in the second segment), and the movie is effecting as far as it goes. The gimmick (10-12 minutes spent in each life) works, but I kept wanting more.

Like real life, there are plenty of mysteries here that aren’t ever cleared up, which can be taken as a Cinma-vrit experiment or a cheat, depending on your perspective. Each of the characters could (probably) sustain their own movie, but after seeing all of their stories and how they connected, I felt empty, like I’d been subjected to an experiment that didn’t work.

In individual pieces, “Nine Lives” is a film not to be missed; as a whole, it falters. Still, the performances make it worth the trip.

“Nine Lives” (2005)

Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia