Hustlers opens on Friday. I hope you see it. I hope you see it as many times as you can. I saw it a couple of weeks ago at a press screening ahead of TIFF and I’m hoping to see it again this weekend with my own money because I want it to make money, lots of money, because if it makes lots of money, it could strengthen its chances for award season, and boost Jennifer Lopez’s chances for award season…what? 

You didn’t think so, did you? Did any of us? When Hustlers was first announced, did anyone consider that a film about strippers, based on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 piece in The Cut about the real Hustlers at Scores would be a contender? That’s kinda what Hustlers is trying to say. And here we are. Hustlers premiered on Saturday night at TIFF and, since then, as soon as the embargo lifted, everyone started talking about it as a contender, including me. My review of Hustlers will be posted in a few days. I can’t decide whether to run it ahead of its wide release or next Monday, after you’ve had a chance to see it, process it, debate it, and fight for it. Or fight about it. If you care to get a sense of what I’ll be writing in my review, here’s my thread about Hustlers. Yeah, I did. I said Hustlers is as good as Goodfellas. As great as Goodfellas. 

Hustlers is currently rated 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and among eleven top critics so far, a diverse group that includes men and women, only one didn’t see the point. This movie is more than you might have thought it was. It is still what you thought it was before, like don’t be scared if you wanted the sizzle and the fun, but on top of all the sequins and the hairspray, or maybe under it, there’s a great story, a complicated one, a nuanced observation about our culture, and really, really great performances…led by, holy SH-T, Jennifer Lopez. 

This is JLo at her best, better than she’s ever been, and the Oscar buzz is real. Everyone is talking about JLo as a strong possibility for Best Supporting Actress and it would be her very first nomination. And now, since it’s a strong possibly, and you know the studio will be behind her, who’s going to be better at the campaign than Jennifer Lopez!?! You already know about her work ethic. You know she knows how to sell it, how to go for it. You also know award season will be so much more interesting if JLo is a part of it. Everybody wins here. 

Including Alex Rodriguez. Especially ARod. ARod was her plus one last year when she presented at the Oscars. This year, he could be front row, sitting beside a nominee – with his phone out the whole night. And if it happens that way, you know what? I won’t be mad at it. 

Here she is at GMA this morning to promote the movie wearing the sh-t out of this outfit. Look at her. How is this possible?!