Scarlett Johansson's performance as the disembodied voice behind a phone's operating system in Spike Jonze's new movie, "Her," has been generating tons of positive buzz for the film about a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the voice.
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Johansson never shows her face in the film, yet still won the Best Actress prize at the Rome Film Festival this month, beating out the likes of Jennifer Garner ("Dallas Buyers Club") and co-stars Amy Adams and Rooney Mara. Could Johansson be poised to make an awards season run?
HuffPost Entertainment writes that the actress would make Oscar history should her performance nab her a nod for an Academy Award, since no voice-only role has ever been nominated before. The site writes that the Oscars have always been finicky about recognizing alternative performances (think voiceover for animation or actors using motion capture technology ), but Johansson's is so central to "Her" that the Academy might be willing to overlook its normally-rigid ways in favor of honoring a truly worthy performance.
Of course, the Oscars are the Holy Grail of awards shows, and as First Showing points out, Johansson's going to have to get on a lot of other short lists first before she becomes a contender for the tiny golden man. Still, the site says, the Best Supporting Actress race is one of the least crowded this Oscar season, leaving a potential opening for ScarJo's husky voice. Plus, her recognition as Rome's Best Actress -- not merely supporting -- also carries some weight.
Academy Awards nominations are due out January. Keep an eye -- and an ear -- on "Her" and Johansson until then.
[via The Film Stage, h/t First Showing]