Jennifer Lopez is currently receiving widespread acclaim and Oscar buzz for her role in Hustlers as Ramona, the ringleader of a group of strippers who con their wealthy Wall Street clients. It’s well-deserved—as Julia Stiles told Glamour , Lopez’s portrayal of Ramona didn’t feel like a performance. It felt lived in and real . On top of that, there are rumors that Lopez may be in talks for her own Super Bowl halftime show this year.
It’s an exciting time for a Lopez renaissance, but I have a slight chip on my shoulder directed at Hollywood. Actually, it’s a large chip—one the size of a 20-year career that’s spanned dance, music, TV, and a movie where Jane Fonda drinks mouthwash . Jennifer Lynn Lopez has been killing the entertainment game for decades. Decades! So why is she only now receiving serious awards buzz?
I don’t understand what’s taken so long. Lopez’s outstanding performance in Selena was well-received by critics, but she scored only one major acting nomination for it at the Golden Globes. It seems the Recording Academy just wasn’t ready for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” a near-perfect pop song that cemented J.Lo’s legend status, because the singer has never won a Grammy. And then there’s that aforementioned Super Bowl halftime show—the NFL has been overlooking Lopez for that for years.
I can keep going. An Oscar nomination for Hustlers would help rectify all these injustices, but there are so many more Lopez moments that deserve praise in the form of shiny gold statues. Consider this a retroactive Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys campaign.
Monster-in-Law (2005) The aforementioned “Jane Fonda mouthwash” movie, which has a perplexing 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes . How could you give a movie in which Jane Fonda smashes Jennifer Lopez’s face with a pie anything less than an A+? The Academy missed the boat on this one, and I still haven’t forgiven them.
View photos MONSTER-IN-LAW, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, 2005. ©New Line/Courtesy Everett Collection MONSTER-IN-LAW, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, 2005. ©New Line/Courtesy Everett Collection ©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection More The Boy Next Door (2015) Lopez plays a teacher whose twisted, confusingly hunky next-door neighbor (Ryan Guzman) becomes infatuated with her. Again, critics dismissed this one, but I urge them to revisit it and take note of Lopez’s side bangs and glasses.
Enough (2002) Lopez did some hardcore training for this early-aughts classic in which she plays a woman, Slim, who escapes an abusive marriage and learns enough fight skills to kill her ex-husband, Mitch. Lopez deserves an award just for the scene where Slim breaks into Mitch’s house to hide his guns but puts on a pot of coffee first.
View photos ENOUGH, Jennifer Lopez, 2002(c) Columbia. Courtesy Everett Collection. ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection More “Jenny From the Block” (2002) I’m routinely screaming about Lopez’s discography because it’s catchy, spans genres, and includes some history-making music videos. Exhibit A: “Jenny From the Block,” in which she subverted all the attention her then relationship with Ben Affleck was receiving by putting him in the video. Her mind!
Second Act (2018) Much as I’m puzzled by people overlooking Monster-in-Law, I’m not quite sure how a movie that includes a Leah Remini slap bit and a Vanessa Hudgens plot twist doesn’t have 16,000 Oscars. Here’s another example of Lopez’s throwing all of herself into a project—and that includes a scene where she trips on a supermarket floor.
View photos SECOND ACT © STX Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection More Shades of Blue (2016-2018) The police procedural is paint-by-number, but Lopez’s performance was a standout. Watch one episode, and you’ll be begging for this character to join Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Now that is the definition of a dynamic duo.
Her Video Vanguard Performance at the VMAs (2018) If this could win an Oscar, it would. Remind me again why we have an athlete like Jennifer Lopez in our midst but still give the Super Bowl halftime show slot to white guys who just take their shirts off? America deserves a J.Lo halftime show in 2020. Let’s make it happen.
And of course, The Wedding Planner (2001) This classic rom-com debuted at the top of the box office the same week Lopez’s album J.Lo hit number one on Billboard ‘s Hot 100. She is the only entertainer in history to achieve this feat. Again, my point proves itself. Name another artist who can deliver precision choreography one minute and witty banter with Matthew McConaughey the next. Only one exists, my friends.
View photos THE WEDDING PLANNER, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, 2001, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collec ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection More And she’s winning the Oscar next year. Mark my words.
Christopher Rosa is the staff entertainment writer at Glamour. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrosa92 .
Originally Appeared on Glamour
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