Rob Marshall’s “Nine” is finally making the rounds of early screenings, really early, and getting lots of love.

Over the weekend it was apparently shown to visiting press junketeers, members of the Directors Guild, the Hollywood Foreign Press, and the British Academy. At the DGA, Nora Ephron hosted the screening, then interviewed director Rob Marshall afterward.

It’s too early for reviews ‘ opening day isn’t until mid December and there’s still not a final print. But there’s a lot of buzz for the actors, starting with’ Daniel Day Lewis, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. Here’s a clip

Not to say the many other famous women don’t score; they do. Each of them ”Fergie, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren ‘ have smaller roles (as well as a show-stopping number). Here’s the trailer

Kidman, however, is getting a lot of kudos for her performance of the show’s hit, “Unusual Way.” Geffen Records may wind up putting it out as a single. You may recall that Nicole had a hit record a few years back on a duet with Robbie Williams of “Something Stupid.”

A couple of the numbers are already floating around on YouTube as fans seem to be making their own videos in anticipation of the real thing:’ Fergie’s “Be Italian” is sensational as one of the songs designed to make people leave the theater humming. And Kate Hudson’s “Cinema Italiano,” written for the movie, looks like a knockout in this new trailer

I did a hear a funny story from the international press junket. Sophia Loren, who is so magnificent and legendary, had to get used to Daniel Day Lewis staying in character all the time. Someone asked her about it, though, after the American actresses all sort of nodded and said it had been fine for them. Loren, though, laughed when she was asked: “It was very strange!” she exclaimed, shaking her head.

As for Oscars and all that jazz: it does seem as though Marion C will wind up in the lead actress category, alongside Meryl Streep, Gabby Sidibe, Carey Mulligan, and Helen Mirren, maybe. Penelope goes into Supporting, with Patricia Clarkson, Mo’Nique, Julianne Moore, and maybe Diane Kruger or Mariah Carey. The various races have begun! It’s a good thing January is such a long month.

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