"Nine" packs a crowd

One tactic the Hollywood news site The Wrap is using to get its name out there is to host free film screenings. Judging by tonight, it's working. So many people RSVP'd to a screening of "Nine" at the Sherman Oaks Arclight that the movie had to be shifted into larger auditorium — and the house was still virtually full. Director Rob Marshall didn't show as promised, but producer Harvey Weinstein pinch hit and the crowd seemed appreciative.

As for the film: My group read the audience response as tepid. And we couldn't remember a single tune right afterward, never good with a musical. Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz were the high points.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Hollywood stories on LA Observed:
Hollywood Reporter gets political
Rejected Joe Eszterhas' Maccabees script is "a Jewish Braveheart'
Publicist Michael Sands dies after choking on sample at Gelson's
Moving day at KCET
Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas exchange words over Maccabee script *

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