Scarlett Johansson's Best Film Roles to Date

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Distribution
May 29th, 2012

She may only be 27 years old, but Scarlett Johansson has already proven she has box-office power. With a long string of movie roles to her credit since beginning her acting career as a child, Johansson continues to demonstrate her ability to successfully take on increasingly complex roles.

Portraying the role of Amanda in the film "Manny and Lo," Scarlett received an excellent opportunity to demonstrate true star power even at an early age. While the film is somewhat offbeat and quirky, Johansson's strong portrayal in the film provides audiences with an insight into her true talent and potential. Just 12 years old at the time, Scarlett was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female.

"The Horse Whisperer" is another of Johansson's earliest movies. She portrays the role of Grace Maclean, a teenage girl who is injured during a horse riding accident and must recover both mentally and physically. Scarlett went on to earn a YoungStar Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama Film. Ultimately, "The Horse Whisperer" proved to be a breakout role for Johansson, leading to future opportunities where Scarlett could demonstrate she is much more than just a pretty face.

Three years later, she starred in "American Rhapsody" as a 15-year old Hungarian girl struggling to cope with some very unusual life events, while at the same time coming to grips with the normal pressures associated with growing up. When Scarlett's character, Suzanne, was only 9 years old, her parents left her with another family while they fled communism in Hungary for America. Suzanne is later reunited with her parents in America and must not only learn how to relate to them, but also adjust to a new life in a new country. Although "American Rhapsody" may not be one of Johansson's better-known films, her portrayal of Suzanne earned her a tie with Emma Watson for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film for Leading Young Actress.

"Lost in Translation" further cemented Johansson's ability to take a role and make it her own, particularly when the role involves discovering oneself through life. In "Lost in Translation", Scarlett portrays the role of Charlotte, a newlywed who is living in Tokyo and largely abandoned by her workaholic husband. She strikes up a somewhat unlikely friendship with Bob Harris, an American actor. Scarlett received numerous award nominations and won a BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. She also earned a Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress for her role. Much of Scarlett's success in "Lost in Translation" is due to the film's effective ability to balance despair and humor. Ultimately, this Sofia Coppola film proved to be the ideal showcase for the talents of both Johansson and Bill Murray.

When Johansson took on the role of Mary Boleyn in "The Other Boleyn Girl" in 2008, she demonstrated her ability to slip into an historical role with ease. Through her role as a mistress to King Henry VIII, who eventually loses her lover to her own sister, Anne Boleyn, Johansson provides an interesting and intriguing look into one of the most fascinating periods of English history.

A stellar cast accompanied Johansson in "The Man Who Wasn't There." Well-known character actors in the film included Richard Jenkins, Frances McDormand, Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Shalhoub. Although the film did not earn as much success at the box office as many of Johansson's other films, the all black-and-white film did receive glowing reviews from critics.

In "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Scarlett plays the role of Cristina, who is visiting Barcelona with a friend for the summer. The two eventually strike up a romantic relationship with the same artist, Juan Antonio. To further complicate matters, his ex-wife soon returns to the picture. Scarlett, along with Javier Barden, Penelope Cruz and Rebecca Hall, received a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast. When the Woody Allen film was first released in 2008, it garnered quite a bit of attention, primarily due to the fact that the film presents a fresh, new look at how a love triangle can go awry. Like many of Scarlett's films, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is about finding your own way, even when that path differs from mainstream.

Scarlett has most recently made a splash on the big screen while reprising her role of Black Widow from "Iron Man 2" in the new super-heroes film "The Avengers." As a resident master spy, Scarlett received ample opportunity to demonstrate just what she could do in the film, including a couple of fairly intense fight scenes.