One of my favorite movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Nine Days. Written and directed by Edson Oda, Nine Days is a completely original film that hit me like a ton of bricks. Without giving too much away, the film takes place in a reality between life and death where Winston Duke’s (who gives a career best performance) character is responsible for deciding who will replace a person on Earth after they have died. Once the dying soul has passed, five people emerge in this in-between reality, and Duke’s character has nine days to test each of the candidates. The winning soul gets to be born — all the rest will cease to exist having only experienced a few days of life. The film is a powerful reminder of how lucky we are to be alive, and I cannot believe what Edson Oda accomplished with his debut film. Nine Days also stars Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgard, Tony Hale, Benedict Wong, David Rysdahl, and Arianna Ortiz.
“Edson is a special human with a special mind and heart. And Nine Days is a film that comes straight from within him and therefore is special in the exact same way. Delicate and deep, like the man himself,” said Jonze.
Edson Oda on having Jonze join the film:
“Spike Jonze has been one of the biggest influences in my life as a filmmaker. His work – which made me see pictures in motion with new eyes—inspired me to pursue this career, and constantly encourages me to tell my own stories in the most human, personal and heartful way I can. I am so honored and humbled to have him involved with Nine Days’ it really means the world to me.”
Check out the first trailer below which also features some of Antonio Pinto’s fantastic score.
Here’s the official synopsis for Nine Days:
Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV’s of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will…