Critics agree that Jennifer Lopez’s absence from the Best Supporting Actress category, announced by the Academy on Monday, qualifies as a “snub.” I think that’s accurate for two reasons: first, because her performance in “Hustlers” generated strong hype, and second because it was outstanding.
It was outstanding because Lopez transformed shrewdly into a difficult character, masterfully conveying layers of class tension and womanhood that less capable actresses wouldn’t have adequately grasped. “Hustlers” is a surprisingly sharp commentary on class and sex, both for its neutral politics and nuanced sexuality. Given the subject matter, it’s hardly the tawdry fare typical of Hollywood blockbusters.
Lopez’s performance as Ramona complemented director Lorene Scafaria’s decision to capture the story’s strippers more as beautiful women than sex objects, a feat she managed to accomplish quite well. While probably not Best Picture material, it’s an exceptionally keen film.
The New York Times posits that Lopez’s snub was due partially to her not being taken seriously as