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Hustle & Flow

Everybody gotta have a dream. 

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Hustle & Flow

Director: Craig Brewer

Starring: Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Ludacris

Before you write this film off as a crappy 8 Mile clone take a moment to consider what is actually one of the best films to be released in 2005. Terrence Howard (Crash, Four Brothers) plays middle aged D-Jay, a scummy pimp whose life story is one of wrong choices and crushed dreams. When fate springs him one last chance he embarks on a difficult journey to break free of his low-life world to become a respected rapper. As he pours his heart and soul into his music, we are treated a fantastic Rocky-esque yarn, a true underdog tale.

The film boasts Oscar winning music and an Oscar nominated performance from Howard. His lead role is mind blowing, Brewer thankfully having the courage to employ a phenomenal actor and not a real-life rapper to play D-Jay. Anderson as the friend/producer and Manning as the prostitute who wants more from life are also strong in their roles but scene stealing credit goes to the heavily pregnant Nola, all naïve and sweet and the only one who provides D-Jay with an outlet for his well hidden caring side. It is refreshing to see women in the role of prostitutes not one-dimensional, but at once bubbling with angst and pride. There are also impressive cameos from the likes of Isaac Hayes as a bar owner and Ludacris as the local-boy-turned-rap-superstar Skinny Black, on whom D-Jay pins his dreams.

It is impossible to get across just how good this film actually is; the script, direction and acting are all so tightly pulled together it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Inspirational in the way D-Jay manages to transform his life through the power of his art and triumph through the adversity of his own flaws, this is a real feel good film that will take you by surprise.

Ben Sniff

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)