Thursday, May 12, 2011

Which is Better?

Scarlett Johansson
10 sample films:

Lost in Translation
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Iron Man 2
A Love Song For Bobby Long
Ghost World
Match Point
The Black Dahlia
The Prestige
Eight Legged Freaks


Natalie Portman
10 sample films:

Leon: The Professional
V for Vendetta
Beautiful Girls
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
Garden State
Black Swan
Everyone Says I Love You

Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments section


  1. Natalie Portman by far, I mean, at least she can act...
    I think she's a far more popular actress than Scarlett, especially since her Oscar win.

  2. CS, this is my nightmare post! Hahaha! You know when there's something about someone that you *just* hate? I have that little irk about both of these women, and now you're making me choose?! Agggh!

    When it comes to sheer performance ability, I would go with Natalie Portman

  3. @Jack – My kneejerk reaction would be to side with Portman, but I am actually picking the underdog (i.e. Scarlett) in this one. Given the right director, Johansson can turn out great performances (e.g. Match Point, Vicky Cristina, Ghost World, Lost in Translation, Love Song for Bobby Long). Unfortunately she often gets saddle with roles that just do not suit her range (e.g. The Island, The Girl with the Pearl Earrings, etc.).

    @Rachel – Consider this a form of free therapy for you. We will attempt to pinpoint what irks you about both actresses. LOL

  4. Both have had up and downs. At this point, Portman easily though. I thought she was good in Lost in Translation... that is until I realize that was the entire extent of her acting.

  5. That's easy. PO'TMAN MOTHAFUCKA!!!!

    She's been in better films and has made better performances.

    If you were to put Portman against 1996-2004 Scarlett. That would be tough because Scarlett was a phenomenal actress back then.

    If I were to put 3 of Natalie's best performances (Leon, Closer, & Black Swan) against Scarlett's best (Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring, & Manny & Lo). It would be very close.

    Unfortunately, Scarlett's work since 2005 hasn't won me over and I'm not able to defend her. She was good in Match Point until the third act. She was OK in Scoop but I thought she was terrible in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I hated The Island (then again, I loathe Michael Bay). I thought she was useless in The Prestige. She was alright in The Other Boleyn Girl and just mis-cast in The Nanny Diaries.

    I used to have a lot of high praise for Scarlett but not anymore.

    And you didn't like her in Girl with a Pearl Earring, I thought that was her best performance of her career. Believe me, she was a lot better with the person they originally wanted to play that role. Kate Hudson.

  6. There was a glitch in blogger and the original post, with your comments, were erased.

  7. OK then. As I was saying before that glitch. The easy answer is Portman.

    She's made more interesting films and worked with more renowned directors.

    It's nothing against Scarlett but can anyone name a great performance that she's been in since 2005?

    I won't say Match Point because while I liked the film and her performance, she became annoying in the third act.

    She's one of my great disappointments because I thought after Lost in Translation/Girl with a Pearl Earring, she would've gone into much more broader films that would continue to play to her strengths as an actress.

    Now, she doesn't seem to really be invested into really giving a performance anymore. I would always try to defend her when people say that she couldn't act but I don't think I can do it anymore.

    I know people would want to say Vicky Cristina Barcelona but I thought she was terrible in that film. I'm sick of her playing the goddamn sex symbol or the ingenue. I want her to reunite with Sofia Coppola so that Coppola can get her to try and act again.

    And since I recall that you didn't like Scarlett in Girl with a Pearl Earring which is actually my favorite of Scarlett's performances. Do you think the film would've been better if Kate Hudson played that character as originally planned with Mike Newell directing and Ralph Fiennes as Vermeer?

  8. This one's too easy...

    Looks - ScarJo
    Everything else - Portman

    End - Portman, cause Scar ain't winning the looks department by all that much.

  9. @thevoid - Since 2005 I would say that Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and her work in He's Just Not That Into You (the film was bad but I actually liked Scarlett in it). I can see how you would get tired of her playing the ingénue, but that has to do with type casting. Penelope Cruz when through the same thing when she first starting appearing in Hollywood films.

    As for the Girl with a Pearl Earrings, I have lost faith in Kate Hudson's abilities. So I do not think she would have done a better job, though I do like the idea of Ralph Finnes as Vermeer.

    @Fletch - The original match up was going to be Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley but decided to change it last minute. Next week’s match up will be interesting as two high profile directors square off.

  10. A tough one. They've both been in some good films (Scarlett was in Ghostworld of course) and some not so good films), but I love Black Swan so I'm going to say Portman.

  11. @Alfred - I think people often forget the fact that Portman has been in some pretty awful films. Granted her track record of consistency is still stronger than Johansson...

  12. Scarlett.

    Take BLACK SWAN away and I don't think the race is as simple as everyone is making it out to be. And when they went head-to-head in a truly awful flick (THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL) Scarlett was better by a wide margin.

  13. Yes, Andrew! I thought I was the only person who thought that Scarlett was better in Boleyn, a miscast movie that should have been made a year or two later when all the British actresses started popping up. Anyway, I think Scarlett pulled off the accent better and was more natural.

  14. @Andrew - My original post comments were, and still are, pro-Scarlett. Blogger decided to erase all the reasons why I support her.

    @Okinawaassualt - I still have not been able to watch The Other Boleyn Girl all the way through. I've tried a few times but the melodrama in the film just irks me to the point where I have to stop watching.

  15. Don't watch it. Seriously. It's a terrible film from a terrible book, and the only saving grace is the ten minutes of Kristin Scott Thomas.

    Paolo is right, though, as melodramatic as it is I imagine it could have been better with a duo like Romola Garai and Keira Knightley or Carey Mulligan. The casting was CRAZY.

  16. @Andrew – Sounds like I am not missing anything at all. I will hold off on trying to finish the film.

  17. Its an open goal for Nathalie Portman eventhough she had such a big part in those Star Wars prequels!!!

  18. @Joel – If we were giving out awards for the most wooden performance than Portman would win hands down for the Star Wars prequels. Granted, all the performances in those films were awful.


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