Call it “Goodfellas” for the modern era, but with maybe less violence and more stilettos. After overwhelmingly positive reviews out of TIFF, “Hustlers” rolls into theatres bringing a juicy tale of money, drugs and the women who will risk it all for a better life.
We’re introduced to our heroine for the movie Destiny (Constance Wu), a street-smart woman who’s new to stripping and looking to make a few bucks so she can care for her elderly grandmother. She then becomes acquainted with the beautiful Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), a veteran dancer who offers to take Destiny under her wing and show her the ropes.
From there the two become unstoppable at the club before it all comes crashing down due to the 2008 recession. After that, men are no longer willing to spend on their services, so Dorothy and Ramona decide to take matters into their own hands. Ramona suggests luring men from nightclubs to the strip clubs and then drugging them when they least suspect it. After that, they max out the credit card at the club and take a cut of the earnings. They put their plan into fruition and it starts to work out, maybe a little too much.
Filled with unforgettable performances from Wu and Lopez, the film is both entertaining and also earnest about the struggles women go through to try and get ahead, while the men carelessly throw away their money. The film also displays the emerging talents of writer-director Lorene Scafaria, who manages to showcase the characters of her film as neither heroes nor villains but instead simply humans who are driven to by their desire to survive.
This will definitely be a film to watch for this awards season, especially for Lopez as this performance could finally snag the star her first Oscar nomination.