Nine Lives is an American drama film written and directed by Rodrigo García. The screenplay, an example of hyperlink cinema, relates nine short, loosely intertwined tales with nine different women at their cores.
Their themes include parent-child relationships, fractured love, adultery, illness, and death. In one story, an imprisoned woman named Sandra (Elpidia Carrillo) has an emotional breakdown when the broken telephone in her cubicle prevents her from communicating with her daughter (Chelsea Rendon) on visiting day.
In another story, Diana (Robin Wright) and Damian (Jason Isaacs), two former flames now married to others, unexpectedly have a poignant reunion in the aisle of the local supermarket.
The film, which is written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia (“Things You Can Tell By Looking At Her”), is a compilation of sympathetic vignettes centering on the lives of nine dissimilar women. Each abbreviated episode (10 to 12 minutes) has been staged as a continuous Steadicam shot and focuses in on one particular woman. Each woman’s episode in the film is self-sustaining, although the occasional character can overlap into another woman’s storyline – sometimes overlapping at the corners and sometimes as a more fully developed presence.
Sandra (Edpidia Carrillo) is a hard luck prison inmate at a woman’s correctional facility awaiting a visit from her daughter. A very pregnant Diana (Robin Wright Penn) has a bittersweet and poignant chance encounter with an ex-lover, Damian (Jason Isaacs), while late night grocery shopping. Holly (Lisa Gay Hamilton) spirals out of control upon returning to her childhood home after a long absence. Lorna (Amy Brenneman) finds both a chilly and an unforeseen reception while attending the funeral of her ex-husband’s (William Fichtner) second wife.
Character to watch: Robin Wright as Diana.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?