This is not a story that would otherwise interest me, but I enjoyed the script a lot. I’ve got a screener and have added it to my To Watch list.
A couple of initial takeaways: It’s easy to see why Lorene Scafaria, who wrote and directed the movie, would have been attracted to the material. Strong female leads. Female empowerment. Wall Street. Strippers. Crime story. Rising tension as we know things are going to go south, both because we just know they will and the recurring interview scenes in the present talking about the past, what went wrong. With all of those narrative elements, you can see how it would be pretty easy to market this movie. Finally, it’s a movie which could be made for a budget (in this case $20M).
I’m going to try to track down some interviews with Scafaria because one of the questions I have is why she decided to tell the story jumping back and forth from present to past, past to present. I’m guessing one reason is because the use of the interviews and V.O. narration allowed her to cut out interstitial scenes and in effect compress the time-frame.
Last initial observation: This is one of those stories which feels like it’s more of a four-act structure with the second half of Act Two exploring a big shift in the girls’ business approach. More on that tomorrow.
Interesting to note, Scafaria and the movie has received acclaim on the awards circuit (you can check that out here). It’s always great to see a movie written and directed by a woman do well both critically and financially. IMDb Pro currently lists 7 projects Scafaria is involved with as a writer. I’ll be curious to see what she does to follow up Hustlers as a director. She would seem to be positioned well to get a bigger project.