Last Saturday, Marion Cotillard together with Daniel Day-Lewis, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench attended the press conference for ‘Nine‘ at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. I’ve added some pictures to the gallery.
The wife’s 11 o’clock number, “Be on Your Own,” sung as she hits the exit for good. The closing lines of it — “You’ll take with you all you own / From A to Z / . . . And all of me” — inspired, at Marshall’s suggestion, a new number: “Take It All.”
“‘Be On Your Own’ is a song that made me very proud when I wrote it the first time,” Yeston admitted. “It always had a wonderful and scathing effect on stage, but, as I have said, you need action in a film. Film is far more literal and far more specific than a stage show. No matter how detailed the set of a stage show is, it could never be as detailed as actually being in an actual place in a movie. You see the details of every room, you see the props, you see the lights. You are meant to accept this as literally the real world, whereas in theatre we give you a white tile set or a unit set in the abstract and we ask you to use your imagination. Because film is more literal, you really do have to go farther out on a limb to become theatrical.”
Yet another Oscar winner, Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient”), weighed in on that number. He did the final polish on Michael Tolkin’s screenplay, finishing it just days before his death, and it was his suggestion that the number be shared with Kidman and Cruz. “Three women are leaving Guido at the same time, but only one of them devoted her life to him. Only one of them has been married to him for 20 years. Only one of them is giving up everything in her body and soul. Once we explored it, it did not make any sense for three women to share and participate in the depth of despair and anger that only one of them had really earned. So we restored it to a solo.
“I saw Marion Cotillard’s movie three times, and ‘Take It All’ is as much inspired by Marion Cotillard as ‘Folies Bergeres’ was inspired by Liliane Montevecchi. I think that’s, sometimes, when you do your best work because you realize ‘Nothing that I write makes any sense if I don’t have a brilliant actor to put it across the footlights to the audience.’ Here, I knew I was writing for the specific gifts of a brilliant actress.