“Hustlers” dances to the top

Story by Will Hanson, Arts and Entertainment Editor

“Hustlers” is written and directed by Lorene Scafaria and is inspired by a New York Magazine article written by Jessica Pressler. The film follows a group of former strip club employees who come together to take advantage of their clients from Wall Street. It stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhart in the starring roles. The film premiered this past Friday, Sept. 13.

Wow, what a surprise of a film. I was engrossed from start to finish and never became bored or ready for the film to end. “Hustlers” is truly gritty and riveting. However, an over use of nudity and somewhat misleading marketing may detract from the overall quality of the film.

Jennifer Lopez gives her strongest and realest performance of her lengthy acting career. Her performance has already gotten Oscar buzz from critics and I hope that it comes a reality come January.

Beautifully shot dancing sequences and an elegant sheen contributing to a visually stunning thriller/comedy. The story is a real and rough take on the world of stripping and why women make the choice to do so.

Music superstars, Cardi B and Lizzo make glorified cameos in the film, despite each receiving fairly prominent billing. This turned out to be the biggest issue I found with the film as I expected both women to appear in a much larger capacity.

Going into my screening of “Hustlers,” I did not expect the film to contain as much foul language and nudity as it ended up having. As I did expect a fair amount of drug use from the characters I was unprepared for the film to not hold back in regard to the relatively dark subject matter.

If the film were to get any Oscar nominations, I could definitively see it being nominated for cinematography and possibly set design. A big nomination such as acting, directing, or screenplay would be a long-shot, but it is definitely in the realm of possibility.

A surprise stand-out of the film was Lili Reinhart of “Riverdale” fame. Reinhart shines as Annabelle, who is the innocent one of the group of strippers. Reinhart propels her career forward and proves herself more as a serious actress.

With going from dreadful writing in “Riverdale,” to a dramatic, heartfelt script with true meaning and character understanding, Reinhart stands out amongst superstars.

Another standout was Constance Wu from “Fresh off the Boat,” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Her character, a stripper named Destiny, brings true depth to the film by bringing an understanding of what a woman will do for her family.

Although I found the film thoroughly enjoyable, I will say that the film is not for everyone. It will appeal to certain groups more than others, especially with Millennial and Gen Z movie-goers.

I appreciate the film for tackling a subject matter that is generally avoided by movie studios out of fear of backlash. This film proves that more hard-hitting stories need to be adapted for the big screen.

I give “Hustlers” an 8/10, for an extremely well-written script and superb performances from every player in the all-female cast. The audience can tell that every frame and shot of the film was crafted specifically to meet the vision of Scafaria.