Hanson, Grazer get confirmation that Eminem makes the grade
The film that wasn’t there made quite a splash at the recently wrapped Toronto Film Festival.Universal claimed its Eminem starrer “8 Mile” was a “work in progress” and couldn’t be reviewed, but scalpers were said to be successfully peddling tickets for hundreds of dollars apiece at the pic’s single screening Sept. 8, giving the studio, director Curtis Hanson and producer Brian Grazer just what they were looking for: confirmation that Eminem makes the grade in a big way on the big screen, and that their film plays extremely well. It was on the basis of claims that the star was still recording new music for the soundtrack before the Nov. 8 opening that U got all press to agree not to formally review the film from the fest screening. The claim was a great exaggeration, however, since the film looks virtually release-ready. Hanson confirmed all that remains to be done to make the pic suitable for both crix and the recording artist’s minions of fans is color correction, a few additional sound cues and the addition of credits. Gritty depiction of the rapper’s grim pre-fame life in a Detroit-area trailer park and his tough rise through rap at a black club has tremendous energy and a strong sense of reality. Thanks to its disarmingly amusing depiction of how rap sprang to life on the streets, and to the exhilarating competition at the club, “8 Mile” also has the potential to allow the unconverted — and even those hostile to rap in general and Eminem in particular — to “get” rap once and for all. More than one observer was heard to lament that Elvis Presley never had a screen vehicle this “real” that delved into his musical roots.