Release Date: November 8, 2002
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Curtis Hanson
Screenwriter: Scott Silver, Jesse Wigutow
Starring: Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger,
Eugene Byrd, Omar Benson Miller, Taryn Manning
MPAA Rating: R (for strong language, sexuality, some violence
and drug use)
Official Website: 8-Mile.com
I just came from the world premiere of "8 mile",
Eminem's much anticipated semi-autobiographical hip-hop flick
twenty minutes ago. First of all, the film was a huge hit
with the audience, with several spontaneous ovations for E's
character (Bunny Rabbitt) when he rhymes (not enough) in the
film. Although you could dub the showing a love-in (many devoted
fans were in attendance) the film definitely held its own.
The Toronto Film Festival is best when its films show you
a world you will never know, and 8Mile definitely did that.
It showcases life in central Detroit, which rivals Liverpool
England for social mobility, and hip hop in general. In order
for hiphop to completely cross over, it needs to provide its
middle-of-the-road audience with some touchstones that they
can understand. This film does that, and, thus, is more of
a cultural event than a film.
The film itself is fine, with excellent acting (E and Kim
Bassinger) direction and cinematography, and a script that
keeps you interested, even if the story is something we've
all seen before. It would have been nice if there could have
been a deeper message than one of individual inspiration and
strength. I keep thinking of all the sad lives Bunny Rabbit
must have left behind after he "made it", but this
is an American film, so don't look for any Marxist messages
of inspiration here.
8 mile is the definitive hip-hop film, but it only offers
as much insight into the big picture of American life as Elvis'
films did. Eminem aimed slightly higher than he could have,
and hit the mark.
Eminem .... Jimmy Smith, Jr.
Kim Basinger .... Stephanie Smith
Brittany Murphy .... Alex
Mekhi Phifer .... David Porter/Future
Eugene Byrd .... Wink
Omar Benson Miller .... Sol
Taryn Manning .... Janeane