Doing a pole dance set to Fiona Apple’s ‘Criminal,’ Jennifer Lopez’s entrance into Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustler’ is going to be one of the most memorable entrances in modern cinema. And then she follow that up with a next scene wherein she is splayed out at a building rooftop, wearing a fur coat and smoking. It is a most fabulous scene for a much fabulous actress in a role where she shines and shimmers that people are talking Oscar. and you know what? I agree. At the very least, she deserves a nomination for her fantastic turn here as Ramona Vega, wherein she risks blood, swear, and tears to give justice to the role. in the beginning, I thought the character was just a heightened version of JLo the persona, but it is much more than that, she gives the slightly underwritten character shading and depth, and she commands the screen when she is on, Poor Constance Wu, who has to stand beside her most of the time. Although Wu has the meatier role, her paper-like screen presence pales next to the force that is JLo, and her more than competent acting most times look lukewarm next to the Lopez sizzle.
I have some problems with the screenplay, as I thought the resolution petered. But Scararia has crafted a very entertaining film – funny at most times, provocative for sure, but most importantly, weighty. It has something to say, and it says it cogently. And the women here – all of them- are all bad ass. Just right before the film, they showed the trailer for the new Charlie’s Angels. Those girls have a tall order to overcome with the Hustler hustlers.
P.S. This film also has the sickest soundtrack from Janet Jackson to Usher to Scott Walker to Chopin.