Jennifer Lopez should’ve won an Oscar this year. Few 2019 performances brimmed with as much charisma and intensity as Lopez’s career-defining turn in Hustles. The Oscar nominations were disappointing for a variety of reasons, including Lopez’s snub. Lopez, being the artist that she is, is accepting it the best way possible by acknowledging someone of her talent and power doesn’t need awards validation.
The Snub Heard ‘Round the World
Lopez was in great company by those snubbed the Oscars. Lopez, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, and Awkwafina defined moviegoing in 2020. They gave the silver screen some of the most cinematic and human moments the year had to offer. Despite Parasite getting its due, the Academy Awards gets it wrong more than they get it right.
Everyone believed Lopez would get the nomination. Which is why the snub stung a little, Lopez told Oprah:
“I was a little sad because there was a lot of buildup to it. There were so many articles. I got so many good notices — more than ever in my career — and there was a lot of ‘She’s going to get nominated for an Oscar. It’s going to happen; if she doesn’t, you’re crazy.’ I’m reading all the articles going, ‘Oh my God, could this happen?’ And then it didn’t and I was like, ‘Ouch.’ It was a little bit of a letdown.”
A Part of The Problem
There are larger problems at play explaining why Lopez didn’t get nominated, like Oscar voters mostly being older white men. The nominations are decided by a matter of taste, but the taste of an out of touch and mostly white body of voters. It’s always been a problem. Read The Hollywood Reporter’s Q & A’s with Oscar voters to get a sense of the people voting, too, and the problem looks grosser and worser. After reading those Hollywood Reporter interviews, it’s tough to fathom how some of these people can even tie their shoes let alone cast Oscar ballots.
Why it Was a Letdown
The artist felt she let people down. Considering what a success she made director Lorene Scafaria’s dynamite crime film, she shouldn’t feel that way at all, but she’s human, so she does:
“Most of my team has been with me for years — 20, 25 years — and I think they had a lot of hopes on that and they wanted it, too. So I felt like I let everyone down a little bit.”
Why it Doesn’t Matter
She’s goddamn Jennifer Lopez. She’s already won in life more times than mathmaticians can count. An Oscar nomination doesn’t even begin to hold a candle to her long list of professional accomplishments. She’s good.
Like any true and pure artist, Lopez remembered she doesn’t need a nomination to validate the artistry of her epic performance. The work is what matters most. Plus, people often more fondly remember the movies and performances that didn’t win than those that did. The towering yet deeply human performance Lopez gave in Hustlers doesn’t need an award to prove its worth.
Here’s a prediction for the future: the next time Lopez knocks a performance out of the park, the Academy Awards won’t forget the last time they overlooked her work. It won’t happen again. If a snub does happen again, Lopez still won’t need the validation.
The artist concluded:
“You realize you want people’s validation, you want people to say you did a good job, and I realized, ‘No, you don’t need that. You do this because you love it. I don’t need this award to tell me I’m enough.”