Hustlers ★★★½

“Doesn’t money make you horny?”

Really, really good movie. It’s not entirely without its faults: the first act feels a bit rushed and the middle part a bit redundant, but I love how formally conscious this is as a whole, lush lighting and extravagant art design, concise camera movement and framing in a conventional but well modulated approach. Wu and Lopez are really great and the social commentary is excellent - not only in its dramatic incorporation of themes such as friendship, motherhood and psychology, but also how it manages to portray well how capitalism’s fundamental need for constant growth leads also to bigger and bigger expectations. No one wants to go back to minimum wage, poverty is relative, not an independent figure to be analyzed quantitatively. As the market can’t correspond to your mounting needs for luxury and better standard of living, you need to find ways beneath its structure to keep the snowball getting bigger, or even within it, manipulating smaller employees and working with surplus value. No law against that.

“This whole country is a strip club.”