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Could Scarlett Johansson Win An Oscar For A Role With Zero Minutes Of Screen Time?

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Scarlett Johansson‘s best asset is obvious: her voice (I’m sorry, were you thinking of something else?). But it could it win her an Oscar? There’s buzz that she could be nominated for an Oscar for her role in Spike Jonze‘s Her, a role that has zero minutes of screen time. Ms. Johansson plays a Siri-like character; just a robot voice that Joaquin Phoenix‘s character happens to fall in love with.

We’re still a long way off from the Oscars, but here’s what one report is saying. From The Week:

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is set to make history by being nominated for an acting Oscar for a role in which she doesn’t appear on screen.

The 28-year-old actor has wowed critics with her performance as Samantha in Her, the latest film by US director Spike Jonze. Johansson plays Samantha, a sophisticated software program that communicates using a synthetic voice.

[...] Variety‘s Tim Gray says “there’s no precedent” for an actor who doesn’t appear on screen being nominated for an acting Oscar. But he says Johansson deserves recognition and it’s time to “dump some old notions” about acting.

“Let’s abolish the idea that an actor needs to be seen on camera in order to give a ‘real’ performance,” he writes. “Scarlett Johansson creates a full character in Her so she should be seriously considered for supporting actress.”

The article points out that actors like Ellen DeGeneres were nominated for their voiceover work and Hollywood hasn’t collapsed, so maybe it’s not a terrible idea. Also, Judi Dench won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love for about 8 minutes of screentime total.

What do you think? If an actor has a role like this in a non animated film, where it’s just their voice, should they be given Oscar consideration if it’s a good performance? What makes a good performance?

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1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Oscars for non-screentime is hardly controversial. 20 of the 24 Oscars involve people whom you never see on screen at all. Oscars for screentime is what’s in the minority.

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