HUSTLERS by Lorene Scafaria starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, et al is everything one expects it to be, and I must say, I have never loved JLo so much! The film is about 10 minutes too long, but goddam, it's good. The film, based on a true story, is about a handful of strippers that turn the tables on an industry fueled by desire, greed, sex, the objectification of women, and abuses of power.
Jennifer Lopez is at the top her game, in every way. Wu is magnificent in the role; she goes from a struggling introvert trying to make it as a stripper to nothing short of a CFO (it's about context). Wu's capacity to depict a character who may lose everything except her humanity and vulnerability is a treat to watch. Oscar nominations are in order for Lopez and Wu.
The film was based on an article by Jessica Pessler, Pessler wrote, "Here’s a modern Robin Hood story for you: a few strippers who stole from (mostly) rich, (usually) disgusting, (in their minds) pathetic men and gave to, well, themselves". HUSTLERS obviously speaks to bigger topics of societal dysfunction and human beings' ability to adapt and hustle their way to survive. When it comes to the social structures that oppress women, and the men who pussy grab, they never saw it coming.
Anchorage Press contributing writer Indra Arriaga is currently attending the Toronto International Film Festival.