Directed by: Craig Brewer
Written by:Craig Brewer
Starring: Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning,  DJ Qualls, Paula Jai Parker, Elise Neal, Isaac Hayes
Released: March 9, 2006
Grade: A-

Hustle & Flow follows in the footsteps of 8 Mile and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ by focusing on one man’s dream to rise from the slums and make himself as a musician.  An average day in the life of Djay (Howard) sees him selling drugs and pimping friend Nola (Manning) as she prostitutes herself on the streets of Memphis.

With a little luck, Djay gets the chance to turn his life around.  He bumps into old school friend named Key (Anderson) at a convenience store and together, they decide to put a demo tape together.  Key has the recording equipment and Djay has the lyrics and the voice to pull it off.  Both of them see it as their chance to find fame and fortune.

Hustle & Flow was written and directed by young director Craig Brewer.  His initial script was good enough to attract the attention of acclaimed director John Singleton (Boyz In The Hood, 2 Fast 2 Furious) who put up his own money to see the film produced.  His faith in the story was rewarded when it went on to win the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, which celebrates independent cinemas, in 2005.  Previous winners of this award have included The Station Agent and Hedwig & The Angry Inch.

The film’s best quality is the wonderful performance given from Terrace Howard who could be considered the most impressive actor of the last 12 months after his roles in Ray, Crash and Four Brothers.  He received a well deserved Academy Award nomination for best actor for his performance in Hustle & Flow.  The film has also been nominated for best song.  I still can’t get Three 6 Mafia’s song “It’s Hard Out There For a Pimp” out of my mind.  Don’t you just hate that?