We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.
On paper, a film like Hustlers typically looks for box office glory, not awards attention. Yet, the film manages to merge the two potentials into one with a stellar festival run that has positioned as a solid player for Oscar’s attention.
The film, starring Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez, was well regarded when it released in Toronto on September 9. It currently sits at 88% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and 80 on MetaCritic meaning it has broad support from critics. It then went on to a $33 million opening at the box office, assuring it as a box office player as well.
There aren’t a lot of films like Hustlers out there to compare and the closest in recent memory was Widows, which didn’t have the box office success to drive it to awards consideration. That said, there are a lot of films still unseen that could play very well with Academy voters and a crime drama surrounding strippers might not seem like something they would forego more prominent contenders for.
That said, some buzz is building around Jennifer Lopez, who many thought deserved a nomination for Selena, but history is not kind to singers-turned-actors, especially not ones who can count on one hand the number of lauded performances they have given.
Ultimately, I think the film will underperform with critics, which will result in it being ignored come Oscar time, but a strong performance from critics groups in December might bolster its chances.