Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
In rural Mississippi, Lazarus, a former blues musician who survives by truck farming, finds a young girl nearly beaten to death near his home. She's the white-trash town tramp, molded by a life of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and verbal abuse from her mother, who seems to delight in reminding Rae of her mistake in not aborting her. Lazarus, who is also facing personal crisis at the dissolution of his marriage, nurses Rae back to health, providing her with gentle, fatherly advice as well as an education in blues music. Rae's boyfriend, Ronnie, goaded by the man who nearly beat Rae to death, misunderstands the relationship between Lazarus and Rae, and vows to kill him. Lazarus, exhibiting a street-smart understanding of violence and its motives, calls Ronnie's bluff, senses that he is as troubled as Rae, and becomes a guiding force in the young couple's resurrection. Written by
The title of the film derives from the Blind Lemon Jefferson song recorded in 1927. See more »
The movie is said to take place in Mississippi but when they go to "town" the grocery store there has a Tennessee lottery booth in the background. See more »
[rolls over in bed]
Hey. You got any money?
Thought you had a man for that.
I said we wasn't gonna talk about him.
What we just did, you askin' for money, make a man stop. I ain't callin' you no hoe or nothing. But I ain't gonna be played like no trick, neither. Remember... you called me.
[lights a cigarette]
Save it. Save it for those dumb fuckers you sell crack to.
[reaches for his wallet]
How much money you need, hoe?
The hell you call me?
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I knew as soon as I saw the first trailer for Black Snake Moan that I would have to see it. I was not disappointed in the slightest in the film, which was written and directed by Hustle and Flow's creator Craig Brewer. It tells the story of a broken blues man and the nymphomaniac he aims to cure not just for her sake, but also his own...yet it's so much more than that. It's complex and rich and it manages to steep you in a gritty, sticky, sultry blue Memphis without making you feel like you need a bath afterward.
The characters are (for the most part) multifaceted and very well-written and performed. The accents and the dialogue were carried off flawlessly. However, there was one weak link in the chain: Justin Timberlake. The best I can say for him is that he can pull off crying...it's a rare male actor who can cry convincingly. However, Justin's Ronnie was flat, but as an actor he was trying very hard. I would definitely give him another chance.
Lazarus and Rae (Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci respectively) have a great chemistry and a great respect for each other. This is one of those films where it doesn't matter how good one actor is if the other one isn't up to the task and, luckily, both of the actors were up to the task.
The music was very bit as good as you would expect, especially when Mr. Samuel L. Jackson sings the blues. Phenomenal.
On the technical side, all was brilliance as far as I could see. It was well-edited, well shot, and well-mixed...everything was great. The character and set designs were just right, the casting of the supporting characters (even Justin Timberlake and especially Kim Richards) was spot on... Loved it.
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