Rome Gives Scarlett Johansson's Voice-Only 'Her' Role Best Actress
If you haven't watched the trailer for Spike Jonze's unique new romance Her, then go fix that right now. Good? Okay. The film follows Joaquin Phoenix as a shy, complex but soulful man, who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. He finds himself crushed after a long relationship comes to an end, but finds love in the bright, female voice that acts as the sophisticated operating system named Samantha in his new cell phone. What starts as a charming friendship turns into a surprisingly adorable and passionate love affair. How is this possible? Well, to begin with, Scarlett Johansson voices Samantha.
But what's truly impressive, is Film Stage says the Rome Film Festival has given Johansson the award of Best Actress for a performance that doesn't see the actress ever appear on the big screen. Johansson only acts by way of her voice through the main character's phone. That's unheard of in an acting category, and could very well stir some controversy if the larger award bodies take notice. We'll have more on whether or not this award shakes up the Oscar race, or if Johansson even has a chance at love from the Academy with this role when Joey Magidson (who has already discussed the potential Oscar love for the Spike Jonze film) delivers his editorial tomorrow.
In the meantime, our own Alex Billington said of Her, "I am so in love with it that I went to see it twice in the same day at the New York Film Festival, just to confirm that it's as wonderful as I believe it truly is." Since Johansson is a big part of how Phoenix's character develops and her voice makes their relationship feel real and genuine, she probably does deserve some credit. After all, if the voice wasn't charming, sensual and jived with Phoenix's performance, we wouldn't have a movie. Maybe if her performance is as powerful as another actress who actually appears on screen, that should be acknowledged as a hell of an achievement. It would certainly be interesting to see how people reacted. What do you think?