Jennifer Lopez’s Heartbreaking Oscar Snub Brings Reality to Shiny Netflix Doc

Jennifer Lopez has at all times been obsessive about authenticity.

It is there in her music, just like the 2014 single “Similar Woman,” the radio sensation “I am Actual” with Ja Rule and her signature bop “Jenny From the Block.” Within the latter, a woman from the Bronx makes the solemn promise: “Irrespective of the place I’m going, I do know the place I got here from.” It is also been doled out in her movie roles, a lot of them rags-to-rich fairytales that emphasize each her road smarts and supreme glamor, like “Maid in Manhattan,” “Second Act” and, most lately, “Marry Me.”

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So the prospect of her all-access documentary – Netflix‘s “Halftime,” which opened this 12 months’s Tribeca Movie Competition and debuts on the streamer at present – not solely makes excellent sense for J. Lo-the-brand but additionally suggests her larger obligation to the reality as she enters the fourth decade of an amazing profession in present enterprise. Apparently, although, the Lopez mythology we have come to know appears rote in comparison with the true bombshell of the doc: that world superstars aren’t proof against crushing defeat, as evidenced by her failure to safe an Oscar nomination for an acclaimed flip within the 2019 drama “Hustlers. ”

On the petty byways of Hollywood, bruised egos and anger over a star’s incapability to get awards consideration is rarely spoken of publicly. It’s gossiped about at infinite For Your Consideration lunches and cocktail events, over dishy group textual content threads and at homosexual brunches throughout subway Los Angeles (together with mine, to be actual). The trope of actors being “humbled and honored simply to be nominated” is so pervasive that award present presenters have crafted musical numbers poking enjoyable at its artifice.

However in “Halftime,” Lopez is deeply weak in discussing what that Oscar nomination would have meant to her – acknowledgment from an inventive institution that has not traditionally accepted her pop star ambitions and splashy public romances.

Directed by Amanda Micheli, “Halftime” masterfully creates a subplot round Lopez’s momentum as a contender for greatest supporting actress prizes. Within the movie’s first 10 minutes, we see Lopez set expectations as each a producer and star of “Hustlers,” about an opportunistic ring of unique dancers who robbed their funding banker purchasers after the 2008 monetary crash.

The day after the “Hustlers” world premiere on the 2019 Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition, Lopez is seen in a hair and make-up chair prepping for an intense spherical of press. Her producing companion, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, telephones in with the primary spherical of “Hustlers” opinions.

“Jennifer Lopez dominates in a quintessentially American story,” Goldsmith-Thomas oozes via a speakerphone, capping it off with, “Jennifer Lopez is Oscar worthy.” The star’s face crumbles into infantile pleasure, then shortly dissolves into paranoid superstition.

“We’re on our approach to the Oscars,” one glam squad member says because the entourage heads out for the press day.

“Cease!” Lopez instructions. “See? You make me nervous. ”

In quite a few interviews through the years, Lopez has mentioned that her movie profession was front-loaded with status roles – “Out of Sight” and her breakout “Selena” being probably the most notable. However administrators like Oliver Stone and Steven Soderbergh stopped calling when her platinum-selling music profession launched (and with it, style traces and fragrances and different profitable model alternatives that usually battle with excessive artwork). In a single tribute, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria mentioned, “possibly as a result of she’s made exhausting work look so easy for therefore lengthy, it’s simple to take Jennifer Lopez without any consideration. I am so proud she’s getting the popularity she deserves. ” The doc additionally goes out of its approach to instantly quote awards pundits questioning aloud that Lopez could seem an excessive amount of like a star to award performing’s biggest prize in earnest.

This white-knuckle experience of will or will not she ascend the Oscar stage follows Lopez via a lot of the movie. Although different, extra consequential life occasions play out – her Tremendous Bowl LIV Halftime present efficiency, for instance, which was watched by extra viewers than the final 5 Oscar telecasts mixed – they don’t appear to hold the identical emotional weight with the lady from the Bronx.

“There’s a complete circuit round awards season that I had by no means finished earlier than. it really turns into a marketing campaign. if you happen to do not do it, they make you’re feeling like you do not have an opportunity, ”Lopez tells her documentary, with real misery in her voice.

Her journey continues down a well-worn path to Oscar glory that many business insiders will acknowledge: a highlight award on the Palm Springs Worldwide Movie Competition, then the elation of a Golden Globe nomination (which actually dates this doc, contemplating that group’s implosion within the time since “Hustlers” made its rounds).

On the eve of the Golden Globes, most of the similar glam squad and supporters from Toronto and Lopez’s complete profession packed a set on the Beverly Hilton, solely to look at her lose out to Laura Dern for “Marriage Story.”

Getting into the suite with Goldsmith-Thomas after the loss, Lopez and longtime supervisor Benny Medina battle off tears as they embrace.

“I actually thought I had an opportunity,” Lopez says. “I really feel like I let all people down.”

For followers looking at Lopez on journal covers, or friends and media gamers witnessing her float between afterparties and energy lunches, these are the non-public moments we have solely ever speculated over. In a while within the documentary, simply earlier than the Oscar snub is handed down, Lopez breaks into tears from her mattress, studying an article from Glamor journal.

Frankly, it is thrilling to see a criminally underrated performer Lopez Lopez reads about herself, earlier than getting choked up, “get her due from status movie shops.”

It isn’t the bumpy experience on the 6 practice into Manhattan, the one Lopez would take to audition for dance gigs in her youth, but it surely’s her actuality. And it is deeply revealing.

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