Jennifer Lopez is a singer, performer, actress and designer, yet the woman is severely under-appreciated when it comes to awards. Case in point? After a decades-long career, the 50-year-old “Ain’t Your Mama” singer has yet to win a Grammy. But, thanks to her upcoming film Hustlers, Lopez might just win an Oscar.
A movie about exotic dancers who con rich men out of their money may not seem like Academy Awards fodder at first glance, but critical acclaim for the film is pouring out of the Toronto International Film Festival. In case you’re unfamiliar, TIFF is widely recognized as a film festival where studios and distributors premiere their strongest Oscar contenders. Toronto Film Fest alums include such lauded films as 12 Years a Slave, Spotlight, Moonlight and Green Book, all of which went on to win Best Picture.
According to Vanity Fair, the reception at TIFF is so warm that Lopez’s on-screen striptease to the Fiona Apple song “Criminal” incited a round of applause. At the end of the Lorne Scafaria—directed film, the 2,500-plus moviegoers seated in the theater gave it a full-on standing ovation.
From a technical standpoint, Hustlers qualifies for potential Oscar consideration: It’s more than 40 minutes long, its public premiere occurred in a movie theater, and it debuted during the appropriate calendar year. But will it and J.Lo earn a nod from the Academy?
Hustlers hits theaters this Friday, September 13.