8/10 A slow burn that rewards patient viewers for sticking around, “Nine Days” is a brilliant, original film with stirring emotion. If watching the trailer has you saying, “What is this film even about?”, you aren’t alone. The synopsis states that, “A man interviews five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth.” The premise is fantastical yet extremely creative and writer/director Edson Oda shows his commanding presence over the material. I had never heard of Oda prior to this film (he has only been making short films for the last decade) but I am glad he made the switch to feature length film making and will keep an eye on him from here on out. His script is somber and subtle, letting the wonderful performances carry the heaving lifting. Speaking of wonderful performances, this film is chalked full of them. Winston Duke is subdued and restrained, holding back his true emotions throughout the film. Zazie Beetz is pure of heart, curious and easy to root for. Bill Skarsgård radiates Chad energy and sees life in a simple, straightforward and somewhat pessimistic way. Beetz and Skarsgård’s opposing world views are a great contrast as Duke has to select who gets to be born into the world. The score from Antonio Pinto (I hope he doesn’t drive a Ford) is beautiful and one of the best film scores of 2021 thus far. Although the film does start a little slowly, the intriguing dialogue and the story constantly moving forward throughout these nine days will keep you interested as to what is happening and will happen. Unfortunately, knowing modern audiences with short attention spans, I fear many mainstream audience members will grow bored in the beginning, turn this off and not give the film the chance it deserves. This would be a mistake seeing as how your patience pays off, climaxing with the film’s most emotional and heart breaking scene coming in the very end. Despite the slightly slow beginning and the film probably not having a ton of replayability, if you are in the mood for a somber, thought provoking film, “Nine Days” will give your mind plenty to chew on as we are blessed with phenomenal performances, one of the best scores I’ve heard in a long time and restrained direction from a real talent who I’ll be following closely moving forward. These nine days compacted into two hours are more than worth your time as I hope this screenplay gets remembered come Oscar nomination time.

#WillSheBeetzHerCompetition / #WhereTheresAWillTheresAWayToEarth / #WillsDilEmma / #BlackPlanner / #TheWongChoice / #DeadOrAlivePool2

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