Starring: Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, Taryn Manning, Anthony Mackie, Evan Jones, Omar Benson Miller, Eugene Byrd, Michael Shannon
Directed By: Curtis Hanson
(This review is based off of a repeat viewing, and not a first-time view)
It’s easy to write off 8 Mile. After all, it stars Eminem, an it was virtually ignored by the Oscars. It did win the Best Original Song award. So that’s something. Rappers as actors, easy to disregard. Eminem changes that idea, and turns in a rather groundbreaking performance… playing herself. He really dominates every scene that he’s in. He never looks lost, and really feels invested in his character and performance. He’s definitely one of the better rapper/actors we’ve seen.
His supporting cast is really good too. Kim Basinger, especially, turns in one of her best performances as his crazy mother. Her desperation is obvious in every frame. Brittany Murphy is great as Eminem’s love interest, and Michael Shannon works well in a small role as a sleazy guy.
Since I’m reviewing this film on my third or fourth viewing, eleven years after it first came out, this is kind of a skewed review. But I’ve loved the film every time I’ve seen it. That has to stand for something.
If you haven’t seen the film in a while, go back and explore it. Really watch Eminem, and you’ll see his potential. Or, watch it again to appreciate what the late Brittany Murphy had to offer. She had so much going for her, I wish we had been able to see her career all the way to her old age.
FINAL GRADE: A