Her presents Scarlett Johansson in a more captivating manner than ever before.
In the movie “Her,” Scarlett Johansson’s character Samantha exudes a coy sensuality that is both tantalizing and captivating. Despite never being seen on screen, Samantha’s voice is vivacious, gregarious, sensual, and profound. Her nuanced performance cements Johansson’s status as one of Hollywood’s most desirable actresses. Samantha is an advanced operating system that serves as a personal assistant to Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix). She possesses the capacity for intuition, insight, and emotional growth, making her akin to a human. Samantha is witty, soulful, sensitive, and incredibly sexy. Theodore falls in love with her, and she reciprocates his feelings.
The concept may seem ridiculous, but Scarlett Johansson’s voice work in the movie “Her” is remarkable and deserving of an Oscar nomination. She brings a character to life with more depth and humanity than most female performances in recent romantic films, without the added tool of a face and body. However, many voters may overlook her performance due to the notion that voice performances are only “half performances” since they don’t involve acting with the body. This mindset is outdated as the film industry continues to evolve and progress. To truly appreciate Johansson’s performance, it’s important to understand the nature of her character, Samantha, who is a piece of software programmed to learn, develop a personality, and form intimate connections. Their relationship follows the same arc as any human-human love affair. It’s time for the Academy to acknowledge the impact of voice performances and recognize them accordingly.
The film features a unique sex scene between Samantha and Theo where their voices describe what they would do to each other if they had physical bodies. The scene emphasizes the power of emotional connection over physical touch. Scarlett Johansson’s voice performance in the film is praised and considered Oscar-worthy, despite the fact that no alternative actor has ever been nominated before for a voice-only performance. The issue of “invisible” performances has been a topic of discussion since earlier voice performances such as James Earl Jones as Darth Vader in Star Wars. With the advancement of technology in filmmaking, the possibilities for motion-capture and voice actors are endless. The film Her also highlights the potential for operating systems with sophisticated voices and talking computers in the future. Despite the recognition Johansson has received for her performance, it is uncertain whether or not the Oscars will take notice.