Hustlers reviews

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Reza » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:55 am

Precious Doll wrote:Still at the end of the day if Jennifer Lopez keeps the annoying granny from The Farewell out of the nomination list then I'm all for it.


:lol:

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:24 am

Sabin wrote:
Precious Doll wrote
I can't be bothered typing it up again but for the life of me I don't know what Jennifer Lopez is doing in any conversations about awards for this. She may be the best thing about the film (Constance Wu is miscast) but things is a forgettable experience even whilst watching it.

I mean... Let's be honest. Yes, you do. You may not agree with it but you can understand why she is in the conversation. She may not deserve to be but it makes sense.


I suppose if the competition this year is considered weak but if most people had been herded into a cinema or handed a disc of the film and watched it without any knowledge of all the white noise on the internet about Jennifer Lopez's performance I really don't think the thought of an Oscar would cross many minds.

But I suppose we have become conditioned to whatever buzz is out there now......

Still at the end of the day if Jennifer Lopez keeps the annoying granny from The Farewell out of the nomination list then I'm all for it.
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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Sabin » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:19 pm

Precious Doll wrote
I can't be bothered typing it up again but for the life of me I don't know what Jennifer Lopez is doing in any conversations about awards for this. She may be the best thing about the film (Constance Wu is miscast) but things is a forgettable experience even whilst watching it.

I mean... Let's be honest. Yes, you do. You may not agree with it but you can understand why she is in the conversation. She may not deserve to be but it makes sense.
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:11 am

The perils of posting on the internet. I wrote up a piece on this and had the misfortune to post just after Sabin and my post got lost.

I can't be bothered typing it up again but for the life of me I don't know what Jennifer Lopez is doing in any conversations about awards for this. She may be the best thing about the film (Constance Wu is miscast) but things is a forgettable experience even whilst watching it.
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Sabin » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:57 am

Mister Tee wrote
So, what about the movie? It's not bad -- something of a halfway house between an exploitationer and a serious film.

That's more or less my reaction. It's a halfway house but it finds a balance, and I think that balance is the earnestness of the sisterhood it depicts. This aspect of the film is both my favorite and least favorite thing about the movie. The relationship between Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez is never truly challenged. Schisms and breakups are completely arbitrary, and usually punctuated by tearful hugs. But the contrast between what we see in Hustlers vs. what we see in every other male-centered film with the same DNA (Goodfellas springs to mind) is ultimately what makes it unique if not great.

There are really two performances in the film, Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez, both of whom are quite good. The Devil Wears Prada comparison is apt although Lopez has significantly more screen time than Streep did. I don't really know how one could make the case that she is supporting in this film (a category that is clearly her best bet). If she isn't the protagonist, she's so clearly the dominant, driving screen presence in the film. I certainly wouldn't say that Jennifer Lopez deserves an Oscar for this film but this is her best work since Out of Sight and her very real movie star presence helps to make their scam seem larger than life, which is exactly what the script calls for. I like Wu better here than in Crazy Rich Asians.

Certainly a movie of the moment. I found it perfectly diverting.
Last edited by Sabin on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:40 pm

So, what about the movie?

It's not bad -- something of a halfway house between an exploitationer and a serious film. There's a fair bit of T&A (mostly from the extras), but it's not especially prurient. And there's some Hollywood-obvious melodrama (centered on Wu's daughter, and the Dawn character) along the way, but also some well-written/observed scenes. I found the film's narrative trajectory a bit predictable -- but, then again, I'd read the New York Magazine article on which it was based. For what it is, it moves along, and while I don't think the film has as much to say as it appears to think (Lopez's final lines reek of straining for deeper significance than the story can provide), it's an absorbing enough story of desperate people driven to behavior of which they might not otherwise have been capable. I would question if the filmmakers tilt a bit far into empathy-that-becomes-sympathy -- none of the people so worried about Joker being taken as endorsement have made much noise about this movie making near-heroes of thieves. But I guess that's where we are as a society right now: men (for almost the first time) are being treated more rigorously in art than women.

As for JLo: though Constance Wu's character is theoretically the central one, Lopez clearly dominates the movie (think Streep v. Hathaway in Prada). It's a fully charismatic turn for her, a bit reminiscent of Julia Roberts' in Erin Brockovich -- Lopez doesn't show us anything extraordinarily new, but the film makes use of every element that makes her a star, and puts it in a setting that lets it shine brighter than usual. I'm not certain how the film will be received by parts of the Academy -- I can imagine some of the older set ejecting the DVD during the first 15 minutes, when the concentration is on the mechanics of pole dancing. (Older Academy folk don't view the term "sex worker" with approbation the way many millennials do.) But I feel pretty confident the JLo publicity complex will have no problem engineering a nomination for her. And AMPAS will be thrilled by his --- they've already got Brad and Leo likely booked; if they can count on JLo and Arod showing up as well, they'll be ready to pop champagne.

In all: no word-beater, but absorbing enough, and worth seeing.

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Sabin » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:44 am

Max Wilder wrote
Greg wrote
Max Wilder wrote
J.Lo went 21 years between good movies. Will voters hold that against her? They should.

You could just as easily be describing Glenn Close.

Who didn't win.

What about Jared Leto? What about Jennifer Connelly? What about... actually, to be honest, I hate myself for engaging in this argument. Voters should not hold anyone's previous career against them. They should simply vote for their favorite performance. Will they? Probably not. Jennifer Lopez is probably not going to win an Oscar for Hustlers.

That being said, if they push her for Best Supporting Actress, and she wins a bunch of critics awards, and the field is weak... hey, crazier things have happened.

Mister Tee wrote
I will, though, confess to an aging-guy worry: I've watched critical reaction change over the past few years. It seems to me we've seen a generation (if not generations) of critics move into place who've never known a time when serious movies were also popular movies (which was the norm well into my adulthood). Because, in their experience, most any movie with ambition has been a late-Fall release geared to an awards campaign, they tend to lump all of them -- from a dull biopic like The Theory of Everything to a PTA masterpiece like Phantom Thread -- as "Oscar bait," something to be mildly disdained. Conversely, they seem to elevate (I'd say overrate) genre pieces like the ones that have been their daily bread since childhood -- super-hero movies (the Dark Knight and Black Panther pushes), horror films (Get Out their big success, but also advocacy for things like Hereditary), pure action (hello, Mad Max: Fury Road) and broad comedies (Tiffany Haddish, Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder). None of these genres strike me as generally prize-rating -- The Dark Knight and Get Out are the films that come closest for me, and I'm 50/50 on either -- but I think we're heading to a future where more and more such films get promoted into prime Oscar position, because critics, who used to dismiss such films, are now promoting them past their station.

It's hard to argue against it.

When I began watching films in the mid-90's, it was certainly the case that "serious" films were released throughout the year. My first beloved filmgoing experience was to see Braveheart in May of 1995, a summer that also saw many more throughout the season and the year. Clearly some were angling for Oscar attention, but Apollo 13 was both a serious film and a popular film. I don't know if anyone looks to 1995 as a great year for films (I'll always have fond memories) but with the ramping up of blockbuster summers into blockbuster springs and falls, 1995 became a distant memory.

I think two things happened at the same time that at the very least affected the perception of "Oscar bait' like you're talking about. One of them is the rise of blockbuster summer and the other is Miramax's temporary (but at the time, seemingly eternal) vice-grip on the Academy.

While the studios were quickly turning their attention towards this model of filmmaking that almost certainly guaranteed massive return on massive investment, the Academy was so quick to fall for Harvey's model of Oscar bait (neither Phantom Threads or Dark Knights) that the distance between serious art cinema and middlebrow blue hair Oscar flicks felt negligible. Can you blame a 23 year old for making that mistake when Harvey Weinstein fooled so many adults into what should be taken seriously? Sure, there were aberrations here and there but it became sport to predict which undeserving Miramax film, which Lasse Hallstrom film, would make into the nominee's ring before something that just meant more. For years, it felt like Oscar movies were just for old Democrats. I certainly became more populist during this time, desperately clamoring for something that struck a chord with the populace or anybody I know to be nominated.

I'm not just talking about the Academy awards, mind you. I'm talking about the perception of serious film storytelling. I think that movie culture in 2019 has been wildly infantilized over the years. That said, the bulk of my concern for the first half of my moviegoing life (95-08) wasn't the elevation of popular filmgoing into accolades but the opposite. The blind elevation of the meaningless into the meaningful. I think that's been extremely harmful because it forces people to look elsewhere for recommendation.
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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby MaxWilder » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:14 am

Okri wrote:
MaxWilder wrote:J.Lo went 21 years between good movies. Will voters hold that against her? They should.

You could just as easily be describing Glenn Close.

Who didn't win.

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Greg » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Okri wrote:
MaxWilder wrote:J.Lo went 21 years between good movies. Will voters hold that against her? They should.


You could just as easily be describing Glenn Close.


Although, Close did have Damages on TV.
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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Greg » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:07 pm

MaxWilder wrote:J.Lo went 21 years between good movies. Will voters hold that against her? They should.


I disagree. Even though performance awards are often career awards, I think the nominations/awards should only be based on the individual performances in question.
"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world."

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Okri » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:14 pm

MaxWilder wrote:J.Lo went 21 years between good movies. Will voters hold that against her? They should.


You could just as easily be describing Glenn Close.

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby MaxWilder » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:47 am

J.Lo went 21 years between good movies. Will voters hold that against her? They should.

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:24 pm

I wouldn't say that Lopez isn't a serious actress but all the reviews by critics, most of whom I've never heard of, aren't talking about her acting chops, they're talking about her ability to shimmy up and down the stripper pole at 51.

The film itself sounds like a dumbed down version of last year's Widows. I've seen some of the director's previous work. It wasn't very good.

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:05 pm

In theory, I agree with you...though I can't really come up with many examples of people I'd have nominated who'd fit the "more populist than serious, still deserving" criteria. I do think there's always been a tendency among Oscar voters to conflate "solemn" with "serious", and performances like, say, Fiennes in Grand Budapest Hotel, or Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, have been overlooked for less impressive work.

I will, though, confess to an aging-guy worry: I've watched critical reaction change over the past few years. It seems to me we've seen a generation (if not generations) of critics move into place who've never known a time when serious movies were also popular movies (which was the norm well into my adulthood). Because, in their experience, most any movie with ambition has been a late-Fall release geared to an awards campaign, they tend to lump all of them -- from a dull biopic like The Theory of Everything to a PTA masterpiece like Phantom Thread -- as "Oscar bait," something to be mildly disdained. Conversely, they seem to elevate (I'd say overrate) genre pieces like the ones that have been their daily bread since childhood -- super-hero movies (the Dark Knight and Black Panther pushes), horror films (Get Out their big success, but also advocacy for things like Hereditary), pure action (hello, Mad Max: Fury Road) and broad comedies (Tiffany Haddish, Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder). None of these genres strike me as generally prize-rating -- The Dark Knight and Get Out are the films that come closest for me, and I'm 50/50 on either -- but I think we're heading to a future where more and more such films get promoted into prime Oscar position, because critics, who used to dismiss such films, are now promoting them past their station.

I'm actually not sure if any of this applies to Hustlers, which may be able to pass for a serious movie on a female empowerment/critique the rich basis (though I'm thinking, commercially, it's going to ride somewhat on "watch half-naked women work the pole"). But the certain JLo campaign seems guaranteed to draw out the worst of junk-movie-loving Twitter.

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Re: Hustlers reviews

Postby Sabin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:47 pm

Yeah, they'd never give it to anyone like Cameron Diaz in a million -- oh wait.


I actually don't like this game. I wouldn't have given Cameron Diaz or Tiffany Haddish the awards but I don't like snarking on accomplished comedic performance or the notion that someone like Cameron Diaz, Tiffany Haddish, or Jennifer Lopez isn't a *SERIOUS* actor and thus undeserved of such accolades. [said stuffily]
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR


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