I have learned Scarlett Johansson, who plays Samantha, Joaquin Phoenix’s Operating System in the upcoming Spike Jonze film Her has been ruled ineligible to compete for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for this year’s Golden Globe awards. Johansson’s role is strictly a voice over performance – she is only heard, not seen – and would mark a history-making nomination for the Oscars and the SAG awards where she is eligible. Warner Bros has been campaigning for consideration in the category and she recently was named Best Actress at the Rome Film Festival for her role in Her (12/18) which only added fuel to this fire. Warner Bros should be disappointed in the decision by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association but plan to continue bringing her performance, which has won critical raves, to the attention of awards voters. No one has ever been Oscar nominated (or Globe nominated) for a voice over part or for a performance capture role despite past campaigns for actors like Andy Serkis who played Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings films and most recently was touted for his work as Caesar the ape in 2011′s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.
It will be up to the actors branch of the Academy and SAG nominating committee members to recognize Johansson’s work as a full-bodied performance, even if it is one that isn’t seen on camera. To my mind the movie lives or dies on the audience’s ability to believe Phoenix could fall head over heels for this voice. She makes it credible and it seems it is high time it is recognized as such. I wouldn’t be shocked if a critics group names her Best Supporting Actress. This could get interesting.