In Which We Follow the Curve of Her Thingy

Doll to Plop

by Molly Young

Scarlett Johansson: an actress best described in culinary metaphors. Skin like ice cream, mouth like a plum. Her beauty is appetizing more than impressive. There is something oversweet and transient about it, which is the reason I suspect Woody Allen enjoys putting her in his films. He has always been a voracious (if slightly troubling) admirer of feminine beauty, and the impulse to capture Scarlett’s ripe spell for posterity must be irresistible. It is nice work if you can get it.

What you notice first in Vicky Cristina Barcelona is that the actress’s individual features are not stunning. She has plain eyes, bleached hair, and a nose that someone (I can’t remember who) once described as “porcine”. And yet. Like a tasty meatloaf composed of bargain ingredients, Scarlett defies her components to come out very well in the end.

Part of her appeal is that Scarlett’s looks will not age well. She will not, for example, look as good as her costar Patricia Clarkson at Clarkson’s age. Clarkson has the look of someone whose beauty is ancillary to her other characteristics (intelligence, wit.) Scarlett, on the other hand, is one-dimensionally sensuous. Super-sensuous!

This is not a flaw. In fact, it makes her delightful to watch for exactly 90 minutes, the length of a film. During that time, especially when she is filmed by Woody Allen, there is nobody else you would rather watch. She is less an actress than a presence. By which I mean that her Scarlett Johansson-ness never, ever gets subsumed in any role she plays. It is this fact, more than her sexiness, which etches a time stamp on her forehead.

In Vicky Cristina Barcelona we find Woody Allen treating the actress like a doll to plop in different scenarios. We get Scarlett on a bike, Scarlett in a plane, Scarlett by the pool. She is delightful in every case, especially when her sweetness is spiked with more complicated actors.

Scarlett floats among them with the easy carriage of someone accustomed to adoration – a well-loved dog, say, or a pampered child. It is easy to feel jealous or resentful of her, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by doing so. If you are tempted by these emotions, just remind yourself (in a voice tinged with creepiness) to relax and enjoy it. We should all be Scarlett fans.

Molly Young is the contributing editor to This Recording. She tumbls here and frolics here.

NEW MUSIC FOR OUR NEW APPRECIATION OF SCARLETT

“Turn to the Assassin” – Junip (mp3)

“Black Refuge” – Junip (mp3)

junip website

Junip are a Swedish band featuring José González.They released Black Refuge EP at the end of 2005, and although a full length album had been expected, it has not yet appeared.

“Ghosts (Me and You Forever)” – Katkhuda (mp3)

“Beneath the Arcade” – Katkhuda (mp3)

Katkhuda website

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Halo inspires us all.

John Cage’s genius overwhelmed us.

Rachael didn’t really like a post we did.

About these ads

21 thoughts on “In Which We Follow the Curve of Her Thingy

  1. There’s actually a wonderful exchange about what you’re describing in Match Point: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers’s character (iirc) calls her beautiful, and she replies “What I am is sexy.”

  2. Yeah, I’ve always been put off by her nose (I think porcine is a perfect description). I don’t know. She’s fine, but it’s hearing people talk about her like she’s the most beautiful woman alive that has put me off. Really? Her?

    Eh.

  3. Very good post.Thanks for sharing this great article! I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.Excellent post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it up.

  4. I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific issue plus it does indeed supply me some fodder for thought. Nonetheless, because of everything that I have experienced, I simply wish when the commentary pack on that people continue to be on point and don’t get started on a tirade involving some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this excellent piece and though I can not really agree with the idea in totality, I value the viewpoint.

  5. I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific issue plus it does indeed supply me some fodder for thought. Nonetheless, because of everything that I have experienced, I simply wish when the commentary pack on that people continue to be on point and don’t get started on a tirade involving some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this excellent piece and though I can not really agree with the idea in totality, I value the viewpoint.Thanks!

  6. Hi there!Waht a nice post! This is my first visit to your site/blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job! Awesome!

  7. Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you offer. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.Once again nice blog Wonderful to read!

  8. Hi there,I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s