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.