Entertainment

Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

Jennifer Lopez is getting a ton of Oscar buzz for her performance as Ramona in “Hustlers.” Many people are shocked that Lopez’s film about a group of strippers is a contender for the Academy Award, but maybe they should start raising their expectations for Latinx-lead films. 

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) marks the beginning of awards season. Typically films that premiere at TIFF tend to go onto to win Academy Awards. These films tend to be dark, historical, and often white-centered with few exceptions (like Moonlight). However this year, critics are whispering about an unlikely victor Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers” which stars Jennifer Lopez, along with Constance Wu, Sarah Paulson, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, and Usher.

“Hustlers” is the talk of the Toronto International Film Festival

When the credits rolled during the Hustlers’ TIFF debut the audience of over 2,500 applauded and gave a standing ovation that held to the very last second of the credits.  

“On Sunday, inside the InterContinental hotel, a sharp-suited male walking with Sarah Paulson was overheard telling the actor, ‘Hustlers is my Citizen Kane.’ By Monday word had spread even outside the festival’s perimeter: Several miles north of the 2019 TIFF activity, a Toronto local working at a pharmacy told her coworker that she had heard Hustlers was ‘amazing. I heard J. Lo could win an Oscar,’” writes Barbara Nitke for Vanity Fair

Critics Love Jennifer Lopez

There’s a scene in the film where Lopez does a striptease to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” that has gotten rave reviews. While I haven’t seen the film I imagine there is not anything as compelling as the sheer core strength of a 50-year-old Puerto Rican woman. 

The Daily Beast wrote the article entitled “J. Lo Should Be an Oscar Contender for Hustlers,” writing, “From Lopez, it’s the kind of dynamo movie star performance that gets rarer and rarer, where a character so perfectly fits how we view a performer but still upends every expectation.” 

While Variety said, “If there’s any justice, Jennifer Lopez will receive her first Oscar nomination for channeling the ringleader Ramona as Erin Brockovich by way of Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike.”

Vanity Fair claims this is, “some of the best acting work of her career.” 

“Hustlers” has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

“Hustlers” is a heist movie based on New York Magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores.” The story follows a group of strippers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients by stealing money from stock traders and entrepreneurs who visit their strip club during the late 2000s financial crisis. The film is a commentary on capitalism, money, and is a subversion of female stereotypes.

Audience members are raving about”Hustlers.”

“With all the Oscars buzz for @JLO in #hustlers here’s an unbelievable statistic. No Latina actress has won the Oscar for best actress. Only four have been nominated (Fernanda Montenegro — at the 71st Oscars — followed by Salma Hayek, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yalitza Aparicio),” pointed out Ramin Setoodeh of Variety. 

“OKAY I am fully on the # Hustlers and Jennifer Lopez Oscar nomination train,” wrote one filmgoer. 

“ACADEMY. AWARD. WINNER. JENNIFER. LOPEZ,” said Joe Reid, co-host of This Had Oscar Buzz.

I’m here for HUSTLERS earning Jennifer Lopez Oscar buzz, but let’s not forget @JLo should’ve gotten Oscar noms for SELENA and ENOUGH and THE WEDDING PLANNER and MAID IN MANHATTAN and MONSTER-IN-LAW and THE BOY NEXT DOOR and THE BACK-UP PLAN and SHALL WE DANCE and SECOND ACT too,” wrote a fan. 

The low expectations we have for films with people of color.

“i cannot believe i cant believe it HUSTLERS the stripper movie with JLo and Cardi B has a 95% on rotten tomatoes while THE GOLDFINCH with nicole kidman, ansel elgort and finn wolfhard sits at a 30% this is so humiliating,” one person on Twitter wrote.

“The Goldfinch is getting slammed while Hustlers is receiving Oscar buzz,” pop culture writer Brittny Pierre tweeted. 

You have to laugh! They hate to see it. It’s always so amusing seeing films featuring people of color get underestimated by the public. Everyone feigns shock that a Jennifer Lopez film couldn’t possibly be a well-written, well-performed artistic work. Then they’re shocked again when a film with a predominantly white cast like The Goldfinch isn’t the Oscar-worthy darling they had expected. If we didn’t attach expectations on art based on who is making it before even seeing it, perhaps, critics wouldn’t always be caught so off guard. Nevertheless, people of color are always happy to prove institutions and expectations wrong. We’ve been doing it for so long at this point.

‘Friends’ Is Actually More Than A Little Bit Problematic—And As It Turns Out, David Schwimmer, Who Played Ross, Pushed For More Diversity

Entertainment

‘Friends’ Is Actually More Than A Little Bit Problematic—And As It Turns Out, David Schwimmer, Who Played Ross, Pushed For More Diversity

Warner Bros. Television Distribution

“Friends” is loved by everyone. You’d be lying if you said you’ve never spent an entire day on the sofa, binge-watching the 90s comedy. But it’s safe to say that some of the jokes, punchlines, and themes of the show wouldn’t have been very well received in 2020 —aka some of the show’s storylines have been regarded as more than a little problematic. Here are some examples. 

“Friends” originally aired in the 90s —but with Netflix reviving the craze for the show a few years ago, millennial viewers noticed a few insensitive punchlines.

The show was on air since 1994 and up until 2004. But since “Friends “started streaming on Netflix just a few years ago, modern day fans have found issues with the way the show depicts and handles some issues —like its lack of diversity for instance, or its depiction of women and LGBT people. 

Pretty much everything about “Fat Monica,” for example.

The whole ‘Fat Monica’ storyline fed into the media’s perpetuated image of overweight individuals as punchlines and nothing more. She only became a “worthy” character after she lost the weight, or at least that’s how the show made it seem.

Exhibit B. The treatment of Chandler’s trans dad.

Chandler’s homophobia and jokes about his transgender parent were awful. While the addition of a proud gay character in a show during the 90s was a huge step forward in television, they totally misrepresented the community. The show conflated transgender people and drag queens. In trying to expose and dismantle some prejudices, they also perpetuated others.

The objectification of women by the male characters

There’s a Thanksgiving episode where Ross and Joey are trying to leave so they can go and meet Joey’s good looking roommate and her dancing friends. And just like this one, there are many other episodes in which “the boys” spend the whole show trying to think up ways to trick women into sleeping with them —in this particular episode, Joey literally calls the women “objects” —and I’m triggered.

Joey’s sexism usually went unchecked—and he was downright creepy a lot of times.

Most of Joey’s scenes revolved around women —and a lot of them are problematic. Sure, he had his good and sweet moments, but it’s super problematic that he can’t remember who he’s slept with, or how he makes his roommates make breakfast for his conquest and then dump them for him. His roommate’s search was also awful: “Female, non-smoker, non-ugly.” —Seriously?

The constant examples of fragile masculinity.

The male characters frequently had to make a HUGE issue out of their fragile masculinity. Here’s an example for you: In the episode where Chandler moves in with Monica, she has him making cedar sachets with old pantyhose. Chandler asks to leave to go do “guy stuff.” He then finds Joey learning to knit and Ross applying face powder to try and minimize the contrast of his overly bleached teeth. He leaves in disgust. Later, after pointing out all the feminine touches Joey’s new female roommate has applied to the old apartment, Chandler points out that Joey is turning into a woman. “Why would you say that? That’s just mean,” asks Joey. “Now I’ve upset you? What did I say?” replies Chandler. “It’s not what you said. It’s the way you said it… Oh, my God! I’m a woman!” exclaims Joey in disgust —*ALL THE EYEROLLS*

Ross has been one of the most criticized characters.

The character of Ross has seen a lot of criticism, for his dismissal of the importance of consent, his possessiveness over women, the casual anti-gay comments and more. 

Even the show creators have admitted to feeling uncomfortable with some scenes. 

The creators spoke about their regrets at Tribeca Film Festival’s “Friends” 25th anniversary. When asked by the audience if there were storylines that they regret, Kauffman had a couple of examples ready: “the one when Phoebe starts dating her sister Ursula’s stalker, played by David Arquette (“we did a lot of rewriting on that to make it work”).” “It’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments in it where I’m going, ‘Oh my God, we let that happen? We did that,'” she explained.

Meanwhile, co-creator, David Crane, admitted he doesn’t remember a lot of specific scenes and jokes after working on 10 seasons 15-25 years ago, said that when he does stumble upon an episode, he’ll occasionally wonder, “Wow, really? We went with that?” “There are some that are better than others,” he said.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, “Friends” star David Schwimmer who played Ross, said he”doesn’t care” about the backlash, because he believes it comes from the show being taken out of the context of its time.

When asked about the backlash that the show went through after its Netflix renaissance, the actor said; “I don’t care.” A few articles and several Twitter threads suggested that the show’s jokes hadn’t aged well, like Chandler worrying about seeming gay, or jokes about Monica’s weight. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage, and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”

“Friends” is a product of the pre-“woke” era when it comes to race, too. 

“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” Schwimmer says. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.

JLo And Shakira Are In Charge Of The Super Bowl Half Time Performance, But We Want To Know Who Will Be The Guest

Entertainment

JLo And Shakira Are In Charge Of The Super Bowl Half Time Performance, But We Want To Know Who Will Be The Guest

Pepsi / Instagram

There’s already so much stardom packed into one Super Bowl half time show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performing, that it’s hard to think how they’re supposed to condense it into a half hour show. To make things even more interesting, the internet has been wondering, who’s appearing on stage as a guest. And there’s already a fan favorite. Here’s everything you need to know. 

How will they cram so much superstardom into such a 30 minute-long performance?

There’s already enough talk about this year’s Super Bowl performance. Are JLo and Shakira really not getting along in the days leading up to their show? Which hits will they be performing? And now, most recently, who will be joining the two Latinas in the watched-by-the-entire-world program? Twitter just voted and if it’s any indication of what’s coming, it should be interesting.

Their performance at the big game has special meaning for J-Lo and Shakira.

During an interview with ET Canada, the two expressed their excitement to be representing the Latino community. “I love that the Super Bowl has two women performing this year, that they have two Latinos performing this year,” J-Lo said in the interview that aired last September. “This is a marker of a new time, not just for the NFL but for the country.” “I’m honored, I’m humbled, to be next to J-Lo, representing the Latino community,” Shakira added. “It’s such an important force in the United States,” added Shakira.

The world was astonished when it was announced in 2019 that not only would Jennifer Lopez be headlining the halftime show, but also Shakira.

Both Latinas are two of the biggest names in music on one worldwide stage. And sharing the stage on this occasion seems to have been producer Jay-Z’s idea, so how could Lopez and Shakira say no? The two women spoke with ET Canada at the time of the announcement in 2019. Lopez said, “I love that it’s in Miami, it is a very Latino town.”

Who does Twitter think should join Lopez and Shakira on the halftime show stage?

Billboard.com asked Twitter, “Who do you hope #Shakira & #JenniferLopez bring out as a guest during their Super Bowl halftime performance? Vote!”

The running rumor has been that Miami native Pitbull will be joining them.

In fact, it’s reported that Pitbull has been pushing to get invited on the halftime show stage and his fans initiated a Change.org petition to get him added to the billing for the show

Fans believe there are obvious reasons why Pitbull should be the guest appearance.

Almost immediately after J Lo and Shakira announced they were co-headlining the event fans started buzzing that Pitbull is a MUST-HAVE guest on the stage too. Turns out some big wigs in Miami feel exactly the same way.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, Pitbull’s camp has had talks with J Lo’s team and the NFL about making the guest appearance happen.

More than that, TMZ reported that honchos at Hard Rock Cafe International are pushing for Mr. Worldwide to get on the stage—Remember, the game’s being played at Hard Rock Stadium.

Everyone’s aware of the groundswell to have an authentic Miami artist to rep the city—and the obvious choices are Pitbull or Gloria Estefan.

The thing is, Gloria’s already performed at 2 Super Bowls—’92 in Minneapolis and ’99 in—where else—Miami.

Sources connected to Roc Nation—which is producing the Halftime Show in conjunction with the NFL—say “other surprise acts” will definitely appear with Shakira and J Lo.

While there’s no deal in place yet, TMZ reports that everyone involved is aware of the momentum—public and corporate—to make room for Pitbull.

Twitter reactions to the question range from, “Pitbull, Yo!” to “Beyoncé” and even Camila Cabello.

One Twitter user wrote: “Shakira is already bringing out JLo as a guest so that’s enough” another even speculated: “Beyoncé!” —do they want the stage to explode from all that star power? Tweeters also threw out Camila Cabello’s name a couple of times, as well as Gloria Estefan’s yet again.

It’s looking pretty likely the guest will be Pitbull.

Both singers have recorded duets with him, he’s from Miami, and he puts on a good show.

By now, the singers have laid out the songs they’ll be performing and the electrifying performances they have in store for the millions who’ll be watching. The fact that they have 30 minutes, tops, to do it all is even more bonkers.