© Universum/Walt Disney

Voll verkatert (Nine Lives)
France/China 2016

Opening 17 Nov 2016

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writing credits: Gwyn Lurie, Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Dan Antoniazzi, Ben Shiffrin
Principal actors: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell, Cheryl Hines, Mark Consuelos

Tom Brand (Spacey) is a millionaire architect, completely occupied with building the new Firebrand Tower, soon to be the highest in the world. With these important responsibilities, a birthday present for his daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman) does not exactly take high priority – until suddenly it does. He rushes to Purrkins Pet Store and buys Rebecca’s dream wish: a cat.  Little does he know, but the shop has a whiff of fantasy about it. The cats enjoy all nine lives and the owner, Felix Perkins (variation of Purrkins, played by Christopher Walken), is a true cat whisperer. About five minutes into the film, Tom has an accident and goes to the hospital in a coma. He might be dead to the world, but his mind is alive and well situated in—you guessed it: the cat, named Mr. Fuzzy Pants. (And that’s the end of Spacey’s performance until the last five minutes when the process reverses. No matter: Mr. Fuzzy Pants is a wonderful actor.)

Soon the cat takes over the household, as well as the Brand business, making decisions in its own manner. Rebecca realizes that something is not quite right and establishes a contact with Mr. Perkins, who carries on lively conversations with felines. All is light and entertaining, especially for cat lovers to enjoy. The moral of the story is: You have to be a cat in order to become a person.

Young Malina Weissman is delightful as Rebecca. There were 11 cat actors, as well as three off-scene cat dubbers: John Olson, Chloe Sonnefeld and Barry Sonnenfeld. Best in his role is Christopher Walken. Truly international, it was financed by France and China, filmed in Quebec and the British Columbia, Canada, and features U.S. actors and director. (Becky Tan)

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