Los Angeles Film Festival-Nine lives

Nine Lives follows the lives of 9 women from different walks of life each facing a life altering circumstance. First we meet Sandra, a prison inmate who tries too hard to people please in order to stay out of trouble while doing her time. She is desperate to stay in communication with her daughter, but a broken telephone causes her to snap jeopardizing her opportunity to spend time with her daughter. Then there is Diana, married, 8 months pregnant, and doing some late night grocery shopping. She bumps into an old flame and they exchange salutations. Though they broke up and are both married to other people, there has been no closure to their relationship and the feelings they have for each other begin to surface and almost overwhelm them leaving Diana emotionally distraught.

Camille faces the trauma of breast cancer.

Holly is a nurse who turns out to be an emotional basket case. She is tormented by dysfunctional memories of her childhood. She is estranged from her father but builds up the courage to go to his house to confront him. While she waits for him to return home, she rehearses fragments of her past with her younger sister and it looks as if she is going to have a nervous breakdown at any moment. Sonia and her boyfriend mix like oil and water. It is painfully apparent they don't get along. They are on their way to celebrate with friends who just moved into a new apartment.

Though they try to keep up appearances, the facade soon unravels and Sonia and her boyfriend find themselves with egg on their face in the presence of their friends. Lorna's ex-husband's wife has died and she along with her parents go to the funeral to give their condolences. Some people at the service are not happy to see her and you wonder exactly what it is she did to offend these people. Her ex-husband (who is deaf) pulls her into an empty room and declares he cannot stop thinking about her. Lorna feels it is inappropriate to discuss such things at his wife's funeral, but he pushes the issue and forces her to face that she may possibly still have feelings for him too. Samantha is a teenage girl about to enter college. Her father is wheelchair bound and along with her mother she acts as not only a caregiver, but as a go between her parents who have seemed to forgotten the lost art of communication with each other. Both her parents question why she does not go to an out of state college, but she feels it would be better for her family and herself if she attended a local college. It is apparent that her parent's co-dependency influences her decision.

Maggie shares a tender moment with her daughter

Ruth is Samantha's mother. She is having an affair. She is at a motel with her lover when by chance she sees a woman getting arrested in another motel room and in a moment of clarity and conscience, she changes her mind and decides to go home. Camille has breast cancer. She is in her hospital room and is about to have a mastectomy and you experience first hand her emotional roller coaster; fear, rage, anger, despair; optimism, pessimism. Her longsuffering husband is nearby trying to console his emotional wreck of a wife. Maggie is spending time with her daughter at the cemetery. They enjoy a picnic lunch and play games. In front of the tombstone of a loved one. It is not apparent until the end that Maggie's daughter is deceased as Maggie folds up her picnic blanket and leaves the cemetery alone. Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, this film is side splitter as well as a tearjerker Supported by a stellar cast of actors including academy award winners Sissy Spacek and Holly Hunter, academy award nominee Glen Close, and the phenomenal child actress Dakota Fanning. This film is one of best independent films I have seen this year and is definitely worth your time.

For more information go to: www.imdb.com/title/tt0420015

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