Talk to Me (2007 film)
Talk to Me is a 2007 biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Entertainer, and Mike Epps. It is about Washington, D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist, and Dewey Hughes, his friend and manager. The film spans the time period May 1966 to January 1984, ending with the late Greene's memorial service.
|Talk to Me|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kasi Lemmons|
|Produced by||Mark Gordon|
|Written by||Michael Genet|
Taraji P. Henson
Cedric the Entertainer
|Music by||Terence Blanchard|
|Edited by||Terilyn A. Shropshire|
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
The film premiered as the opening night film of the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, on June 22, 2007. It opened in North America in a limited release on July 13, 2007 and nationwide on August 3, 2007. The film was shot in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and Washington, DC.
- Don Cheadle as Ralph "Petey" Greene
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Dewey Hughes
- Taraji P. Henson as Vernell Watson
- Cedric the Entertainer as "Nighthawk" Bob Terry
- Mike Epps as Milo Hughes
- Martin Sheen as E.G. Sonderling
- Vondie Curtis Hall as Sunny Jim Kelsey
- Richard Chevolleau as Poochie Braxton
- Alison Sealy-Smith as Freda
- Elle Downs as Peaches
- Herbert L. Rawlings, Jr. as James Brown
- Damir Andrei as Frederick de Cordova
- Jim Malmberg as Johnny Carson
Talk to Me received favorable reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 82% based on reviews from 126 critics. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 69%, based on 32 reviews.
Michael Rechtshaffen of the Associated Press wrote in his review: "Again demonstrating why he's one of the most versatile actors around, Don Cheadle gives another prize-worthy performance as Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene Jr., the irrepressible radio DJ whose keepin'-it-real style made him a trusted voice on the airwaves during the turbulent late '60s and early '70s. [...] Also keeping it real are those rich period touches contributed by production designer Warren Alan Young and costume designer Gersha Phillips, whose fabulous creations for Henson appear to have come directly from the blaxploitation attic."
Criticism over inaccuracies
Talk to Me has been criticized for allegedly not being true to the details of his life and career and for inventing incidents and rearranging locations, such as Petey's appearance on The Tonight Show, which never actually took place.
Greene's surviving family members did not cooperate with the making of the film and criticized it for taking liberties with his portrayal and those around him, such as showing Dewey Hughes giving a moving eulogy at Petey's wake, when in reality Hughes did not even attend the funeral.
In response to these criticisms, producer Joe Fries responded that the film was merely "inspired by" Greene and not a factual recounting of his life.
Awards and nominations
- African-American Film Critics
- Image Awards
- Outstanding Motion Picture (Nominated)
- Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture: Don Cheadle (Nominated)
- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture: Taraji P. Henson (Nominated)
- Outstanding Director in a Motion Picture: Kasi Lemmons (Winner)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Chiwetel Ejiofor (Nominated)
- Outstanding Writing for a Motion Picture: Michael Genet & Rick Famuyiwa (Winner)
- Independent Spirit Awards
- Gotham Awards
- Best Ensemble (Winner)
- Satellite Awards
- "Internet Movie Database - List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Talk to Me". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- "Talk to Me (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- Rechtshaffen, Michael (June 21, 2007). "Talk to Me". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group (Valence Media). Associated Press. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Talk to Me. Universal Studios Home Entertainment (DVD). Universal City, California: Universal Pictures. October 30, 2007. ASIN B000VNMMW0. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Talk to Me. Universal Studios Home Entertainment (DVD) (Wide Screen ed.). Universal City, California: Universal Pictures. September 7, 2010. ASIN B000VNMMW0. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Talk to Me. Verve Pictures (Blu-ray). London: Verve Pictures, LLC. March 22, 2010. ASIN B002ZQX0A4. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "The real Petey Greene"
- Tucker, Neely. "Left Out of the Picture". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2010.