Lopez just took one step closer toward a likely Oscar nomination.

By Joey Nolfi
November 25, 2019 at 09:00 AM EST
09/13/19
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Jennifer Lopez is hustling her way toward an Oscar nomination.

In the run-up to the Academy Awards, the 50-year-old superstar has landed a major precursor accolade as the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced Monday she will receive its annual Spotlight award for her performance in writer-director Lorene Scafaria’s breakout awards contender Hustlers.

Lopez joins past recipients of the Oscar predictive honor, which has gone to actresses like Amy Adams (Doubt), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Rooney Mara (Carol), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) — all of whom went on to receive a nomination (or, in Janney’s case, win) at the Academy Awards — in the recent past.

“Jennifer Lopez is a star in every sense of the word, and you will experience this in her latest film Hustlers. Starting with her show-stopping entrance Jennifer brings to life the character of Ramona, an exotic dancer, who leads a group of dancer friends to steal money from their clients,” said PSIFF chairman Harold Matzner in a press statement. “For this full-force yet grounded performance, deserving of awards consideration, we are thrilled to present Jennifer Lopez with this year’s Spotlight Award.”

The actress — who will also co-lead the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show with Shakirapreviously told EW she felt “a natural chemistry” acting in the film alongside Constance Wu, who plays a budding stripper Lopez takes under her wing as they mount a scheme to swindle money out of their strip club’s wealthy patrons.

“That makes it so much easier, and you’re able to paint with many more colors,” Lopez continued. “It becomes like real life, and that’s magic. It’s an unlikely pairing. We didn’t grow up in the same place, and we’re not from the same background. We’re so different, but that’s what makes it interesting to watch.”

Lopez joins previously announced 2020 PSIFF award recipients Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), and Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), all of whom will receive their trophies at the festival’s Jan. 2 Film Awards Gala kickoff.

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