I was interested in seeing the film Hustlers after hearing a lot of award buzz about Jennifer Lopez’s performance. Otherwise, not too much attracted me to it. Regardless of the film being good or bad, it’s just not really my kind of film. But I went to see it and, although Lopez’s performance is the best of her career, that’s not saying much when you look at her filmography.
Speaking solely about Jennifer Lopez’s performance, I have never watched a film with her in it where I felt that she became the whole character. She’s never made me forget that I’m watching Jenny from the Block. The only exception to this is maybe Selena. But, that’s exactly why I feel that it is not right to say that her performance in Hustlers is award worthy. Compared to all her other acting in other films, of course it would seem award worthy. I mean, some of her other films with her mediocre acting are Anaconda, Maid in Manhattan, The Cell, and Enough. Having one good performance in a long list of mediocre ones does not make the one good performance award worthy.
Hustlers is written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, loosely based on an article written for New York magazine by Jessica Pressler. I say “loosely based” because it doesn’t take a lot of research to find out how much Scafaria tweaked the facts. Given, she tweaked those facts to make the film more “Hollywood”, but I’ve never really been a fan of over exaggerating the truth to make it a good film. That’s how events and people end up misrepresented.
Along with tweaking the facts of the story, there were some interesting choices made in regard to audio in the film. Constance Wu’s character, Destiny, is being interviewed by Julie Stiles character, Elizabeth, in the first half of the film. When Destiny decides that the interview is over and turns off the recorder, the sound cuts out as well. The sound then changes again when Destiny and Ramona are being set up by Dawn. The sound is made to imitate the wire that Dawn is wearing. These choices would not have stood out so much, had other instances of practical sound been done in the film. But these being the only two, it just seems like such a weird choice. It felt like Scafaria was attempting to add an artful flare to the film, but it just didn’t work.
Hustlers, as a whole, was a good film. Would I say that any part of it is award worthy? No. But, it is definitely an enjoyable film to watch on a night out with friends.