Lopez played Ramona in the film, a role model to a group of exotic dancers who masterminded a plan to scam rich patrons of the strip club where they worked out of millions of dollars. The plot is based on a 2015 article by Jessica Pressler titled “The Hustlers at Scores,” published in New York Magazine.
“Most of the praise for ‘Hustlers’ is dedicated to Jennifer Lopez, who fronts the film as the ringleader Ramona,” Lopez reads directly from Glamour. “In fact, some reviewers say she could be likely in the running for her first Academy Award.”
“Frankly, it’s thrilling to see a criminally underrated performer…,” the “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” singer continued reading, pausing to take in the impact of the words and tearing up when they hit her. “… get her due from prestige film outlets.”
It’s a quick but powerful “Halftime” moment, especially because throughout the film, Lopez addressed how negative criticism of her talent affected her emotionally.
“I just had a very low self-esteem,” the star admitted at about the 25-minute mark of the film. “I really believed a lot of what they said, which is I wasn’t any good. That I wasn’t a good singer, I wasn’t a good actress, I wasn’t a good dancer. I wasn’t good at anything. I just didn’t even belong here. Why wouldn’t I just go away?”
Lopez went on to say she felt like she was in a “really abusive dysfunctional relationship” with the media.
In “Halftime,” Lopez said she was told that she wouldn’t win the Golden Globe for “Selena” but said she was just happy to be nominated at the time. It was over a decade before she was nominated again for “Hustlers,” and she has never received an Academy Award nomination.
“Halftime” followed Lopez through awards season and captured her disappointment when she didn’t win the Golden Globe and failed to get the Oscars nomination for “Hustlers.”
“I really thought I had a chance,” she said at about the 55:20 mark of the film.
“I felt like I let everybody down,” she said, referring to the team of people who have been working for her for decades. “They wanted it so bad. For me, for them. I mean, it’s a validation of all the work that they do, too.”
Later in the film, Lopez told a friend she had a dream she got the Oscar nomination, but woke up and realized she didn’t get it. She told her friend, who was angry on her behalf, not to let the snub bother her.