Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez may be poised to win an Oscar nomination for her role in an upcoming film based on a true story about a group of strippers who lied, stole from, drugged, and hustled “pathetic” wealthy Wall Street-affiliated men for their money.
Called “Hustlers,” the film is specifically about “about a group of New York strippers who team up to con male patrons in order to survive the Great Recession,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film “features a leading performance by Jennifer Lopez that many here at the Toronto International Film Festival (where it premiered Saturday at Roy Thomson Hall and screened again Sunday at the Ryerson Theatre) feel is awards-worthy.”
Watch a trailer of the film below (*Graphic warning):
Lopez reportedly plays the ringleader, and she plays it so well, according to the critics, that many of them have called for her to receive an Oscar.
“J. Lo Should Be an Oscar Contender for ‘Hustlers,'” a headline at The Daily Beast reads.
The folks at The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair magazine and Vulture magazine appear to agree.
the other thing about hustlers is that jlo will be nominated for an oscar
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) September 8, 2019
The film is based on a report run four years ago by The Cut. In the report, the actual strippers proudly spoke of conning “pathetic” Wall Street men, particularly the ones who’d fallen in love with them.
One stripper, Roselyn Keo, even spoke of drugging the men to extract more resources from them.
“They’d wine and dine him, then the others would show up, and then, when he was drunk on alcohol and feminine attention, they’d steer him toward one of the clubs from which they had negotiated a lucrative percentage of his spending,” the report reads. “Then they would proceed to run up his credit card as far as they could push it.”
“Of course, it didn’t always work,” the report continued. “Sometimes they’d go through the whole performance and the guy would be too tired to go out; they would offer him drugs for extra energy, but he would be too lame to take them. In the face of such situations, [one stripper named] Samantha had come up with the innovation that was making her rich: a special drink spiked with MDMA and ketamine.”
“It sounds so bad to say that we were, like, drugging people,” one stripper said to the outlet. “But it was, like, normal.”
And is now being celebrated by mainstream elites, it would appear:
This is a true story and oh my god is it good https://t.co/LczBiBMs7R
— Madeline Hill (@mad_hill) March 19, 2019
i re-read ‘The Hustlers at Scores’ last night and then found myself in a “where are they now” k-hole that led to this picture of one of the women involved wearing a YOLO hat to her court date https://t.co/0wzfmJg8gm pic.twitter.com/orAibZDq3Z
— brittany spanos (@ohheybrittany) March 27, 2019
I’m more than three years late but I *finally* read the nymag hustlers at scores piece and it was *chef’s kiss* https://t.co/Fm1ktQ9uim
— Terry Nguyễn (@terrygtnguyen) September 8, 2019
— Elana Rubin (@elanarubin) August 14, 2019
I’m so happy this was written and I’m so happy this is now a movie https://t.co/yor5aArEUN
— Julia Arciga (@JuliaArciga) July 17, 2019
While the film appears to portray all the men, most of them seemingly day workers, as Wall Street villains — despite the fact that the recession was caused by the actions of high-level executives, not bottom-tier workers — it’s not clear whether this interpretation is correct.
What’s known, or at least according to allegations by the strippers, is that the men were certainly sleazy, adulterous and highly disrespectful.
“The men were mostly a**holes,” the original report reads. “Even when they didn’t start out that way, they’d get drunk and say things like, ‘Did your father abuse you? Is that why you do this?’ which was unnerving even when it wasn’t true.”
“The majority were married, though that didn’t stop them from asking for things like blow jobs or sex or to be penetrated with a Champagne bottle, a request that they were shocked came from a clean-cut family man,” the report added.
But the ethical dilemmas the film presents was lost on some.
“Yes, it is the cool stripper-robber movie with the awesome cast,” a reviewer with Vanity Fair wrote approvingly of the film. “But it’s also a true movie for our era, teeming with the confusion and yearning and risk of life right now. It’s a deeply humane film, one that finds celebration, and illumination, in the dark spaces where so many grind.”
It does speak however to the growing acceptance and promotion of the so-called “hustling” of men, be they villainous Wall Street men or just average, lonely everyday men.
Last year, for instance, the mainstream women-focused news outlet Refinery29 wrote glowingly of “sneating,” i.e., the habit of young women going on dates with men they don’t like for the purposes of extracting a free meal from the unsuspecting victim.
The practice is so common a reported one quarter to a third of all women have done it, according to a study published recently.
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