Hope for Hollywood: Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Happy Birthday, Scarlett Johansson.

 

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November 22nd, 1984

First decent movie- 1995- Just Cause – A courtroom drama about a child murderer being put back on trial 25 years later. Starring Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne

1996- Manny and Lo- a pregnant teen and her younger sister run away from a foster home and kidnap a woman who they hoped could help with the pregnancy. Johansson was nominated for Best Female Lead in this role.

1998- The Horse Whisperer– Directed and starring Robert Redford. The mother of a traumatized girl hires the help of a horse whisperer in hopes he may save the equally injured horse. Johansson won Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama film for this role.

2001- The Man Who Wasn’t There Among the best crime drama movies of the 2000s. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Everyone who worked in this movie did a great job including Johansson.

Ghost World– An offbeat teenage comedy about two girls who are friends who wind up getting into a complicating situation after one of them answers an ad for a date.   Johansson was nominated for best actress in Las Vegas, Boston, New York City, Online Movie Critics.  She also won Best Supporting Actress for the Chlotrudis Award (Independent Film award)
2001- An American Rhapsody-A young Hungarian girl struggles to understand her place in the world. She is left behind during the families flight from the communist regime in the 1950s. (Sounds like a much darker version of Home Alone) Johansson won a Young Artist Award for her role as young Suzanne (age 15).

2003- Lost in Translation – Featuring the talents of Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, this movie sparked  many conversations about what was said at the end.  I won’t spoil anything, just watch this film because it was among the best films of 2003.  Johansson was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. She won a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Lead Role. I should note that this likely is Sofia Coppola’s best movie to date.

Girl with a Pearl Earring–  Once again, Scarlett nails his performance. This time she plays a poor maid working for painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and eventual model for among his most famous works. Johansson was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in this role.

2004- A Love Song for Bobby Long – A strong independent woman returns home to New Orleans after her mother dies. Johansson was excellent in this film and she was nominated for a Golden Globe, and Prism Award for this role.

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie– A Spongebob Squarepants movie that doesn’t suck. I don’t like Spongebob (and never have). If you are into this sort of thing, this is the far better of the two movies. Watch it, enjoy, and leave me alone about it.

2005- Match Point – A Woody Allen directed romantic drama/comedy. Johansson gives a great performance which led to her nomination of many awards including a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. This may be among Woody Allen’s better films ever made in fact. Worthwhile if you are a fan of his style of writing and directing.

2006- The Prestige– One of the best dramatic thrillers ever created. Starring Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Hall, Andy Serkis, David Bowie. It’s about two rival magicians attempting to create the ultimate illusion.

2008- Vicky Cristina Barcelona– An above-average romantic drama directed by Woody Allen (Johansson does a lot more Allen films than I realized.) If you like a good romantic film with twists and turns, with heartache and some light hearted moments. Check this film out. If you aren’t big on romantic films, probably pass on this one.

2010- Iron Man 2– It may be the weakest Iron Man film and among the worst Marvel films to date, but not because of Johansson. She was nominated for Teen’s Choice Award for Best Actress because of this role. This was our real introduction to the Black Widow character and probably the most interesting thing about this movie. Say what you will of the other actors for Marvel, I love Johansson as Black Widow.

2011- We Bought a Zoo Starring Johansson and Matt Damon. About a father who moves his family into a new place, a zoo in need of renovation. Scarlett was nominated for a Teen’s Choice Award for Best Actress.

2012- The Avengers– The hit of 2012 which grossed well over a billion dollars worldwide and toppled many box-office records. Featuring a star-studded cast, a competent director, a script that worked. This film really launched many careers into the next level.

Hitchcock – Better than most historical biopics. This is the story of how Alfred Hitchcock managed to get Psycho (1960) to the big screen. Not the best film, but solid acting by Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins and of course Scarlett Johansson.

2013-Her– Voiced Samantha in Her. She won Best Supporting Actress by the Utah, Austin, Detroit Film Association, and Won a Saturn Award for this role.

2014- Chef– If a much more subdued role, Johansson joins yet another film loaded with stars. Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr., Oliver Platt, Sofia Vergara, and Dustin Hoffman. About a renown chef who has a nervous breakdown and decides to reclaim his life by opening up a food truck and traveling around the country introducing good food to the people.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier– in this action packed political drama. Black Widow and Captain America go in search of the very dangerous and even more elusive Winter Soldier. Who does he work for and why is he trying to take down SHIELD? Scarlett Johansson once again suits up as Black Widow and continues to be amazing. Nominated for a Saturn Award, a MTV Movie Award for Best Actress, and Best Duo with Chris Evans as Captain America. Teen Choice Awards

2015- Avengers: Age of Ultron– Another strong performance by a even larger star-studded cast. This Marvel film led by Joss Whedon grossed over a billion dollars. (Whedon has made two movies that have racked up more than three billion dollars. Impressive.) This movie is filled with action and plenty of CGI, it gave Marvel fans a delightful experience to sit back and enjoy in 2015.  It isn’t without its flaws, of course, but Scarlett Johansson remained one of the strengths of Marvel’s casting. We learned new information about her character, some positive, some tragic. Johansson and Whedon tried hard to flesh out the character more. I feel it worked well.

 

On the Fence (Movies that may not have been great, but didn’t suck either.)

1997- Fall– A cab driver and supermodel fall in love while her husband is abroad. Not exactly believable or great, but there are far worse movies in the 1990’s. We can cut this one some slack.

2004- In Good Company – A middle-aged ad executive has a new boss who happens to be half his age. Worse still is that his boss is sleeping with his daughter. (Can you say awkward?) Johansson was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for this drama.

A Good Woman– United Kingdom- The story of the illustrious Mrs. Erlynne who saves Lady Windemere from making a grand spectacle with the scoundrel known as Lord Darlington. (I’m getting sleepy just writing the synopsis. )

2005- The Island– A cluttered nonsensical action laden science fiction film by Michael Bay. Pretty much all you need to know. If you like Michael Bay films, then you’ll probably love it. If not, stay far away.

2006- Scoop– Not the best film by Woody Allen, but far from awful. About a journalist uncovering a big story in Europe and falling into a wild romantic affair.

The Other Boleyn Girl – A historical drama about two women trying to win the affection of Henry the VIII. (Spoilers, they both lost.)

2009- He’s Just Not That Into You – Another average comedy. Nothing horrible, but nothing excellent about this one.

2007- The Nanny Diaries– This movie isn’t very good. I wouldn’t say terrible, but it’s not worth really even talking about it.

2013- Don Jon – Teamed up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this romantic comedy. Both of them did well for what it was. A run of the mill comedy with above-average talent.

Under the Skin mysterious woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.

2014- Lucy – Exhibit B in my evidence that Johansson can not be in movies with Lucy in the title.   This movie insults my intelligence on numerous levels. I won’t bother discussing, but I’ll say enough people liked it. Sadly.

 

Clunkers

1994-North- This film went south so very fast.

1996- If Lucy Fell– Exhibit A that Johansson should never be in movies with Lucy in the title.

1997 – Home Alone 3– The magic of this franchise left the moment Culkin hit puberty.

1999- My Brother the Pig – There are bad movies, then there are movies so bad they crush dreams and destroy lives. This may be one of those films.

2002- Eight Legged Freaks – They knew this movie sucked. I guess you can fun with it, but not made for the sober mind.

2004- The Perfect Score– Not without some good jokes, but predictable as can be. The characters are all cliches, it’s basically a less funny, less talented Breakfast Club.

2006- The Black Dahlia– Two policemen try to uncover the secrets of the Black Dahlia murders, but in the process it corrupts and ruins their lives. There are worse movies, but you can pass on this one and regret nothing.

2008- The Spirit – The movie is terrible. Just avoid it and spend your time on something far far better.

 

 

Future Projects

February 5th, 2016-

Hail, Caesar

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical

Director: Coen Brothers

Starring: George Clooney, Scarlett Johannson, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Josh Brolin, Dolph Lungren

About a Hollywood fixer who comes in to keep the stars in line by any means necessary.

April 15th, 2016,-

The Jungle Book

Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Director: Jon Favreau

Starring: Scarlett Johannson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley,

An orphan boy is raised (survives) in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.

May 6th, 2016-

Captain America 3: Civil War

Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy

Director: Russo Brothers

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Robert Downey Jr., Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Marisa Tomei, Jeremy Renner, Martin Freeman, Don Cheadle, William Hurt, Stan Lee

An “incident” in Stamford, Connecticut*- (I’m guessing) leads to the Superhero Registration Act which divides the superheroes and causes them to battle one another for control.

December 21st, 2016

Sing

Genre: Animated, Comedy, Musical

Starring: Johansson, Taron Edgerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Matthew McConaughey,

March 31st, 2017

Ghost in the Shell

Action, Crime, Drama

Scarlett Johansson,

Based on the popular Manga and Anime, about a cyborg cop taking down an menacing hacker.

 

Photo source- Source- Herocomplex.latimes.com

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