EVERYBODY GOTTA HAVE A DREAM.
Memphis pimp DJay (Terrence Howard) starts thinking about his future and gets in touch with a sound engineer (Anthony Anderson) to help him record a rap tune that might be played on radio. That sounds like a pathetic set-up, and it is in a way, but director Craig Brewer and the cast take their characters seriously and the result is a moving and realistic film that doesn’t insult its audience. Excellent performances from Howard as the pimp with a mid-life crisis, and Taraji P. Henson and Taryn Manning as two of the girls in his stable. They’re portrayed with warmth and honesty. The song DJay comes up with is good… but not great (that might have been too hard to believe).
2005-U.S. 115 min. Color. Produced by John Singleton, Stephanie Allain. Written and directed by Craig Brewer. Song: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” (performed by Three 6 Mafia). Cast: Terrence Howard (DJay), Taryn Manning (Nola), Anthony Anderson (Key), Taraji P. Henson, Paula Jai Parker, Elise Neal… Isaac Hayes, Ludacris.
Oscar: Best Original Song.
Last word: “We just wanted to make something good, and I found that when I went around to a lot of the local rappers that I really love in Memphis. I found that they were making their music. They got their start making music the same way and in the same method that we were making our movie which is kind of like by any means necessary, so whereas I’m like trying to edit my movie and I can either have air conditioning or I edit because like one of the other would blow out my circuit breaker so we’re young end thieves. They were turning off their refrigerator because the hum was getting on the mic and they had to borrow their friends MPC to come over and make it neat. It was a raw art form. It was an art form that was not exclusive. You did not have to have money to say what you had to say to get it out, and I always found that – I always believed that there hasn’t been that movie yet. There hasn’t been a movie which is really showing people creating music.” (Brewer, Culture.com)