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C'mon, Hollywood: Does Scarlett Johansson deserve a little awards love?

Dec. 24, 2013by:

The Golden Globe nominees were announced a few weeks ago with no real surprises or out of the blue shocks, except of course for there being no love for PRISONERS (see the full list right over here if you so please). I don't know how seriously you folks take this award show, or any award show for that matter, but I personally love seeing these ceremonies take place because movies are awesome and I simply think the nature of competition is interesting and entertains me. However, there was one announcement (or lack thereof) this year that caught my attention.

Scarlett Johansson has been having a very successful year and with each consecutive film, she hasn't only showcased her talent, but her versatility as an actress. Whether it was her comedic turn in DON JON or her performance in UNDER THE SKIN, critics have been buzzing endlessly about her multifaceted skills as a performer. It wasn't really until HER, though, that we received some hopeful award talk and while the Rome Film Fest presented Johansson with an award earlier this year, the Golden Globes have allegedly declared her voice-only performance for HER ineligible for a Best Supporting Actress nomination (you can read that story right here).

Now, I haven't seen the film for myself, so I can't speak on behalf of her performance, but it's not the fact that she wasn't picked as a nominee that has me scratching my head. It's that the girl wasn't even eligible to be nominated. Yeah, the performance in question was "only" a vocal performance, but just because she doesn't have a physical presence on screen doesn't mean that she was phoning it in or just doing it for the paycheck. Like any other serious actor, I'm sure she gave it her all as evidenced by the extensive amount of critical acclaim and the concept of a bodiless character who is limited to only their voice to forge a love connection with the main character proves that a special kind of performance was given.

The Academy Awards won't announce their nominees until the 16th of January, so Johansson may still have a shot with them, but this kind of discrimination just brings another actor to mind who has worked against the norm and has deserved award recognition for some time now. That actor is the great Andy Serkis and the fact that the "bigger" awards haven't given him his due yet is unfortunate. Whether or not he was been deemed ineligible as well, he's an incredible actor who brought every CG character he's helped create to life. While it could be said that the characters would not be what they are without the incredible visual effects team, the same could be said about Serkis. Without him, the visual effects team would not have such great facial and body movements to base their work off of and we would not have the memorable performances that have helped create one of the greatest computer generated characters of all time. Unlike Johansson, Serkis had to implement his entire body (especially his face) for his performances and whether it be Smeagol, Kong, Caesar or Captain Haddock in THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN, he has always delivered quality work.

I'm not saying that every actor who has ever done a voice performance or motion capture should be automatically nominated for an acting award, but when the talent is so obviously displayed, it should be noted. Let's look back to 1993 when Robin Williams was awarded a Special Achievement Award by the Golden Globes for his work as Genie in the animated film ALADDIN. That's right. Robin Williams doing his normal off-the-wall schtick as a side character in a Disney film warranted a special award. I won't start any argument with William's talent or whether he deserved it or not, but why can't that tradition go on? Films continue to progress and change in fascinating ways and sometimes the most brilliant aspects of these films don't necessarily fall into the categories presented by these award shows. Why not present a Special Achievement Award to the incredible motion capture performance of Andy Serkis in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES or to Scarlett Johansson for her vocal performance in HER or for an independent filmmaker who released an extremely successful piece, etc. Not everyone who makes a quality product necessarily needs or deserves a statue, but sometimes those who deserve it most are forgotten and that need addressing.

So, C'mon, Hollywood! GIve some credit where credit's due. Scarlett's a great actress (not to mention a ridiculously hot one) and I'm sure missing out on a spot in this year's Golden Globe nominations isn't the end of the world for her, but when actors take part in unusual films that work against the norm and their performance is worth recognizing, why should they be denied that recognition? Perhaps, to make it up to herself, she'll just have to appear, body and all, in the rest of her films. That's something that I can surely get behind any day.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think Scarlett deserves the gold?
Source: Joblo

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+1
12:29AM on 12/27/2013
No
No
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6:39PM on 12/26/2013

No

I think Her is great and Scarlett certainly is part of the reason why, but it's a voice over - not an acting performance. They don't give Oscars to actor VO in animated films who have been doing similar such work for generations. That said, actors like Andy Serkis who have fully mocapped performances where every little nuance is picked up absolutely should be eligible. I'd argue there's now probably video game performances that are as good if not occasionally better than most film acting (ex:
I think Her is great and Scarlett certainly is part of the reason why, but it's a voice over - not an acting performance. They don't give Oscars to actor VO in animated films who have been doing similar such work for generations. That said, actors like Andy Serkis who have fully mocapped performances where every little nuance is picked up absolutely should be eligible. I'd argue there's now probably video game performances that are as good if not occasionally better than most film acting (ex: The Last of Us).
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+3
6:44PM on 12/25/2013

Whaaaaaat?

What in the world does Scarlett Johansson deserve Oscar attention for?
One day the Academy will recognize CGI acting like Andy Serkis. If Visual Effects can count as Best Cinematography at the Oscars then acting like Gollum, Kong, Yoda, can count.
Scarlett is a good actress, but she's never had a great Oscar worthy performance, unless you think Scarlett deserves an Oscar for the way she fits into her skin tight pants in The Avengers, which your article just suggest.
What in the world does Scarlett Johansson deserve Oscar attention for?
One day the Academy will recognize CGI acting like Andy Serkis. If Visual Effects can count as Best Cinematography at the Oscars then acting like Gollum, Kong, Yoda, can count.
Scarlett is a good actress, but she's never had a great Oscar worthy performance, unless you think Scarlett deserves an Oscar for the way she fits into her skin tight pants in The Avengers, which your article just suggest.
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6:37PM on 12/25/2013
The Oscars already did something stupid by nominating Jean Dujardin for an Oscar and giving him one for not saying a word in The Artist, so them nominating Scarlett wouldn't be surprising at all.
The Oscars already did something stupid by nominating Jean Dujardin for an Oscar and giving him one for not saying a word in The Artist, so them nominating Scarlett wouldn't be surprising at all.
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11:11PM on 12/25/2013
The best actors don't have to say a thing and still put on a fantastic performance. The best films can tell a story without words.
The best actors don't have to say a thing and still put on a fantastic performance. The best films can tell a story without words.
3:35AM on 12/26/2013
You do realize that that's the exact same thing that Scarlett is doing, right?....Scarlett isn't being seen, but she's still putting on a fantastic performance like Jean Dujardin was.
You do realize that that's the exact same thing that Scarlett is doing, right?....Scarlett isn't being seen, but she's still putting on a fantastic performance like Jean Dujardin was.
12:09PM on 12/25/2013
You shouldn't get an Oscar for your voice and you shouldn't get one if your skin and features are painted over by a computer. Sorry, Serkis, but Amy from Congo was more real than planet of the apes. Let's go ahead and give Mark Hamill an Oscar for his "acting" in Batman Mask of the Phantasm (which was great, but still). As dumb as the hollywood awards are, the notion of this article is dumber.
You shouldn't get an Oscar for your voice and you shouldn't get one if your skin and features are painted over by a computer. Sorry, Serkis, but Amy from Congo was more real than planet of the apes. Let's go ahead and give Mark Hamill an Oscar for his "acting" in Batman Mask of the Phantasm (which was great, but still). As dumb as the hollywood awards are, the notion of this article is dumber.
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12:30PM on 12/25/2013
Acting is all about emoting - which is done by your speech and body language. It doesn't matter how that performance is captured/portrayed, it's still the actor giving that performance. And given that something like anywhere between 60-90% of all communication is non-verbal, acting through speech alone is much more difficult than an on screen performance, because you don't have body language cues to help express a characters emotion in a given scene. Therefore, voice acting, and to an extent
Acting is all about emoting - which is done by your speech and body language. It doesn't matter how that performance is captured/portrayed, it's still the actor giving that performance. And given that something like anywhere between 60-90% of all communication is non-verbal, acting through speech alone is much more difficult than an on screen performance, because you don't have body language cues to help express a characters emotion in a given scene. Therefore, voice acting, and to an extent mo-cap performances can actually be more difficult to pull off than a regular on screen performance, which could lead one to the opinion that those performances are actually MORE worthy of awards than traditional performances. But then, one would have to understand the subtle nuances of acting as performance art to understand the merits of different styles of performance, and not base their opinions simply on tradition alone.
4:53PM on 12/25/2013
A truly great performance encompasses every facet of an actor. Speech, intonations, a dialect, hand gestures, eye contact or lack thereof, clothing, posture, a subtle wince, a tear, so much more. These are the hallmarks that convey human emotion. To say that someone is worthy of adoration for just one of these traits is fine. Make a best voice category, but don't tell me that a method actor who sacrifices their physical well being to become immersed in a role should take a back seat to a guy on
A truly great performance encompasses every facet of an actor. Speech, intonations, a dialect, hand gestures, eye contact or lack thereof, clothing, posture, a subtle wince, a tear, so much more. These are the hallmarks that convey human emotion. To say that someone is worthy of adoration for just one of these traits is fine. Make a best voice category, but don't tell me that a method actor who sacrifices their physical well being to become immersed in a role should take a back seat to a guy on a stage in a mocap suit or some cunt in a sound booth that did nothing other that show up to prepare for a role. It's not tradition, it's appreciation of the efforts the true greats put into their performances.
11:34PM on 12/25/2013
That's a pretty big insult to all the professional voice actors out there and shows you know absolutely nothing about voice acting. It is one of the hardest forms of acting to do effectively. The voice is what gives life to thousands of characters, both in real life acting and otherwise. To call it trivial, which you've essentially done here, is laughable, if only because it clearly displays your limited knowledge on what you criticize.
That's a pretty big insult to all the professional voice actors out there and shows you know absolutely nothing about voice acting. It is one of the hardest forms of acting to do effectively. The voice is what gives life to thousands of characters, both in real life acting and otherwise. To call it trivial, which you've essentially done here, is laughable, if only because it clearly displays your limited knowledge on what you criticize.
11:34PM on 12/25/2013
That's a pretty big insult to all the professional voice actors out there and shows you know absolutely nothing about voice acting. It is one of the hardest forms of acting to do effectively. The voice is what gives life to thousands of characters, both in real life acting and otherwise. To call it trivial, which you've essentially done here, is laughable, if only because it clearly displays your limited knowledge on what you criticize.
That's a pretty big insult to all the professional voice actors out there and shows you know absolutely nothing about voice acting. It is one of the hardest forms of acting to do effectively. The voice is what gives life to thousands of characters, both in real life acting and otherwise. To call it trivial, which you've essentially done here, is laughable, if only because it clearly displays your limited knowledge on what you criticize.
3:14AM on 12/26/2013
Voice acting isn't trivial and there are great voice actors out there. I'm saying that if that's to be recognized then distinguish between the categories. Best Actor and Best Voice Actor should not be vying for the same award. To put the two side by side is fucking ludicrous.
Voice acting isn't trivial and there are great voice actors out there. I'm saying that if that's to be recognized then distinguish between the categories. Best Actor and Best Voice Actor should not be vying for the same award. To put the two side by side is fucking ludicrous.
7:11PM on 12/26/2013
But again, you're showing a limited understanding, and you are trivializing voice acting, because you're likening it to "just showing up and reading lines" with "no preparation for the character". You're making the same claim for mocap acting. But the fact of the matter is, no good voice or mocap actor "just shows up", they give the whole performance. Even if they're just in a booth reading lines, they're giving a physical performance, doing all of those little things you say "encompass a
But again, you're showing a limited understanding, and you are trivializing voice acting, because you're likening it to "just showing up and reading lines" with "no preparation for the character". You're making the same claim for mocap acting. But the fact of the matter is, no good voice or mocap actor "just shows up", they give the whole performance. Even if they're just in a booth reading lines, they're giving a physical performance, doing all of those little things you say "encompass a complete performance". The only difference is that at the end of the day, you don't personally see that performance on screen. But so what? They still gave the performance. To say that they're less worthy of acknowledgement because you don't actually see them doing the work on screen isn't just insulting, it's absurd.
+6
1:20AM on 12/25/2013

The whole article lost credit when you said...

"Not to mention a ridiculously hot one"

What the helll does that have to do with acting?
"Not to mention a ridiculously hot one"

What the helll does that have to do with acting?
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6:35PM on 12/24/2013
I could see these types of performances getting their due fairly soon.
By the way, Under the Skin kicked ass
I could see these types of performances getting their due fairly soon.
By the way, Under the Skin kicked ass
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5:46PM on 12/24/2013

No no no no

How do you recognize good voice acting? The only reason Scarlett is getting mention is because Her is a live action movie and it's good. How come this argument has never been made for any Pixar movie actors? Is Scarlett Johansson's voice that much better than any character in Toy Story, Up, or Finding Nemo?
How do you recognize good voice acting? The only reason Scarlett is getting mention is because Her is a live action movie and it's good. How come this argument has never been made for any Pixar movie actors? Is Scarlett Johansson's voice that much better than any character in Toy Story, Up, or Finding Nemo?
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9:50PM on 12/24/2013
Perhaps not. That's why I brought up the Robin Williams in Aladdin point. A Special Achievement Award for Ellen Degeneres in Finding Nemo would've been damn perfect.
Perhaps not. That's why I brought up the Robin Williams in Aladdin point. A Special Achievement Award for Ellen Degeneres in Finding Nemo would've been damn perfect.
4:09PM on 12/24/2013

matter of time

While I would certainly say Johansson deserves to be recognized for her work, whether she wins or not it's only a matter of time before performances like hers in Her (see what I did there?) or any of Serkis' performances start getting the recognition they deserve. This, like any other issue of progress we're currently facing in society on the whole, is generational. The current generation of Academy voters are all old and stubborn. Eventually they'll die off and the younger, more progressive
While I would certainly say Johansson deserves to be recognized for her work, whether she wins or not it's only a matter of time before performances like hers in Her (see what I did there?) or any of Serkis' performances start getting the recognition they deserve. This, like any other issue of progress we're currently facing in society on the whole, is generational. The current generation of Academy voters are all old and stubborn. Eventually they'll die off and the younger, more progressive members will vote according to their own standards.
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3:43PM on 12/24/2013
Well worst comes to shove she can always go hardcore. Im sure with just the right video she could get a few AVN awards.
Well worst comes to shove she can always go hardcore. Im sure with just the right video she could get a few AVN awards.
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3:14PM on 12/24/2013
I agree with the idea that a great performance deserves to be honored no matter what. It's also about time that Scarlett is finally recognized as one of the best actresses of her generation - she is incredibly versatile and talented.
I agree with the idea that a great performance deserves to be honored no matter what. It's also about time that Scarlett is finally recognized as one of the best actresses of her generation - she is incredibly versatile and talented.
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2:39PM on 12/24/2013
A good performance is a good performance. I think it would be great if Johansson was nominated for an Oscar.
A good performance is a good performance. I think it would be great if Johansson was nominated for an Oscar.
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1:50PM on 12/24/2013
This conversation is only happening because the Rome Film Festival decided to go outside the box and award Johansson the best actress trophy. While the role of 'Samantha' in Her is significant, its only a voice, and nothing else. A lot of you may be forgetting that she was added to the film only four months before the first screening, replacing Samantha Morton in the process. While the character is definitely a step forward in terms of using the power of omniscient audio to aid in narrative
This conversation is only happening because the Rome Film Festival decided to go outside the box and award Johansson the best actress trophy. While the role of 'Samantha' in Her is significant, its only a voice, and nothing else. A lot of you may be forgetting that she was added to the film only four months before the first screening, replacing Samantha Morton in the process. While the character is definitely a step forward in terms of using the power of omniscient audio to aid in narrative structure, its still not capable of being recognized at the same level as an actual physical performance.
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2:35PM on 12/24/2013
Why should it matter when she was added? Why shouldn't it be recognized as much as an actual physical performance? Why does "compelling" have all these rules to be considered compelling?
Why should it matter when she was added? Why shouldn't it be recognized as much as an actual physical performance? Why does "compelling" have all these rules to be considered compelling?
1:38PM on 12/24/2013
Why sure, lets give her an award nom and oh, lets not forget Julianne Moore for Eagle Eye, Kevin Spacey for Moon, and Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S

Like I said before, how hard is to act when the script is right in front of you and spend less time deliverying your lines than your fellow cast-mates?

Physical presence is key in any movie thats why I didnt bitch when that dude won for The Artist. Yes, it was gimicky but he captured the essence of the classic Hollywood days.
Why sure, lets give her an award nom and oh, lets not forget Julianne Moore for Eagle Eye, Kevin Spacey for Moon, and Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S

Like I said before, how hard is to act when the script is right in front of you and spend less time deliverying your lines than your fellow cast-mates?

Physical presence is key in any movie thats why I didnt bitch when that dude won for The Artist. Yes, it was gimicky but he captured the essence of the classic Hollywood days.
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2:30PM on 12/24/2013
I don't think you understand voice acting at all. She doesn't just walk into a booth and read the lines from the script one time and then leaves. They do multiple takes until they get it right and put in just as much effort into emoting as an actor on set in the moment.

Julianne Moore, Kevin Spacey, and Paul Bettany did not give award worthy performances, but if they did, they should be celebrated. A compelling performance is a compelling performance. Period.
I don't think you understand voice acting at all. She doesn't just walk into a booth and read the lines from the script one time and then leaves. They do multiple takes until they get it right and put in just as much effort into emoting as an actor on set in the moment.

Julianne Moore, Kevin Spacey, and Paul Bettany did not give award worthy performances, but if they did, they should be celebrated. A compelling performance is a compelling performance. Period.
4:47PM on 12/24/2013
Off course no one gets everything right on the 1st take its just like recording music, expect a few fumbles but are you saying those guys never went through the same process as Scarlett? And what exactly constitutes a compelling (voice acting) performance?
Off course no one gets everything right on the 1st take its just like recording music, expect a few fumbles but are you saying those guys never went through the same process as Scarlett? And what exactly constitutes a compelling (voice acting) performance?
12:37PM on 12/24/2013
Fuck no she speaks into a fucking microphone at least motion capture actors do something and are seen on screen. She literally just talks anybody can do that.
Fuck no she speaks into a fucking microphone at least motion capture actors do something and are seen on screen. She literally just talks anybody can do that.
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2:24PM on 12/24/2013
ridiculous statement
ridiculous statement
12:22PM on 12/24/2013
The worst fan response I have seen is "If Andy Serkis wasn't eligible why should she be?" which is fucking insane on so many levels. Since when does one person getting the short end of the stick means everyone who isn't "traditional" acting should too. Are you really that bitter over Serkis' snubbed that you are just going to scorch the Earth so that no alternative performance can ever be considered again.
The worst fan response I have seen is "If Andy Serkis wasn't eligible why should she be?" which is fucking insane on so many levels. Since when does one person getting the short end of the stick means everyone who isn't "traditional" acting should too. Are you really that bitter over Serkis' snubbed that you are just going to scorch the Earth so that no alternative performance can ever be considered again.
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12:19PM on 12/24/2013
I have always figured voice actors were eligible and just figured that they were overlooked for the same reason why animated movies are eligible but often not taken seriously for Best Picture. But the ruling is clearly bullshit, mainly because its a ruling that had to be made because she had shot at getting the nod. If it was THAT good that critics are gushing and there was anxiety that she might get nominated or even win, then of course, OF COURSE, she deserves it.
I have always figured voice actors were eligible and just figured that they were overlooked for the same reason why animated movies are eligible but often not taken seriously for Best Picture. But the ruling is clearly bullshit, mainly because its a ruling that had to be made because she had shot at getting the nod. If it was THAT good that critics are gushing and there was anxiety that she might get nominated or even win, then of course, OF COURSE, she deserves it.
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