Scarlett Johansson's Dolce & Gabbana Commercial Serves as a Reminder

Scarlett Johansson Dolce & Gabbana
Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabbana commercial "The One"
Photo: Docle & Gabana

Dolce & Gabbana describe this video as "revealing the provocative yet effortless femininity of the eternal diva." Effortless? They must not have watched the video, then again, my assumption is they aren't referring to Scarlett Johansson as that "diva" only that she is pretending to be the "eternal diva".

Titled "The One" and directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino (he directed "Human Nature" video) I personally look at it as a mess no matter what the point of it is supposed to be. The only thing it did as far as I'm concerned is remind me that Scarlett Johansson has never lived up to any kind of real promise as an actress.

I guess the biggest question is to ask if Scarlett is playing herself in this piece? Playing an actress? Playing an actress playing an actress? Or playing an actress, playing an actress who is an actress that has lost all identity and can't connect with even the most basic of emotions? I lean toward the latter, but at the same time am wondering if that may not mean she's still playing herself.

Thinking back over her career the first time I remember seeing her was in Lost in Translation where she had, as far as I was concerned, a solid breakout performance. She had been in a few films prior to that, such as The Horse Whisperer, The Man Who Wasn't There and Ghost World, but as far as I can tell Lost in Translation was her coming out moment.

From there, outside of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I can't say any one performance was memorable and Barcelona was only memorable for me primarily because she fit Woody Allen's project so well, and for that matter she turned in good work in both Scoop and Match Point before that. The question is, however, what kind of actress is Johansson?

In talking with Vogue, David Fincher felt she was too sexy for the lead role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo saying, "[The] thing with Scarlett is, you can't wait for her to take her clothes off." Is that what she's come to?

I only ask because at one point there seemed to be promise and now, not so much.

She does have Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo on the horizon, but I tend to feel had this film been released five years ago people would be wondering if she'd get an Oscar nomination for the part. I haven't heard any such talk this year and can guarantee The Avengers won't warrant such talk next year, especially after what we saw in Iron Man 2.

  • Adriano

    I thought she was pretty charming in the commercial.

    I'm still a fan of hers. She gave a great performance in Girl With a Pearl Earring - this and Lost in Translation are her best work. Besides that, I really like her in a supporting role in In Good Company.

    "What kind of actress is Johansson?", you ask. In my opinion, she's an actress with true talent (although limited, I can agree with that) who needs to go back to her "indie" roots. She can get great parts in alternative films. And these movies, of course, can benefit from her presence.

  • Carl Hasz

    I like the commercial because it captures her sense of humor and also her honesty, will the commercial depicts herself as an actress that maybe jaded with her beauty and fame, if anything she says about her acting is a mark of what is to come, than you can even take the commercial as a defining moment for her. In a way, I agree with the commercial if it was made with the idea that (and i don't care what she says, Woody Allen is no one to brag about working with0; that she might've lost some magic that she had when she was younger, because I wouldn't disagree that Lost in Translation and everything before were her best movies.

  • Garrett

    That commercial seems like unintentional parody to me. Awful.

    Then again, it's a commercial so of course it's awful.

  • JayRam

    "Favorite part of my body?"

    Judging by her nude photos, I say she really admires her ass. A-oh!

    I apologize for my immature comment. And yes, the commercial is horrible. Thank you.

  • Forrest Gump

    "[The] thing with Scarlett is, you can't wait for her to take her clothes off."

    hahaha thats so funny i'll go check out that interview xD

  • Viral Vora

    The commercial was terrible... and to anyone who says that the commercials have to be terrible is wrong... there have been quite a few good ones for the luxury brands. i can remember the one with Marion Cottilard to be quite excellent.

    i agree with brad that Scarlett has let her potential go to waste- she had remarkable talent and i couldnt wait for her to walk that thin line between being sexy and being talented as well. she's no different than eva mendes to me at this point.

    • Bayana

      What about the Dior ad with Charlize Theron? was that good acting? or the one with Melanie Laurent? or all those L'oreal ads? and which ad with "Cottilard" are you referring to?? definitely not the one I saw because the acting was atrocious.

      You will excavate the earth to find any reason to bash this girl. Get lives.

  • btw

    "Scarlett Johansson has never lived up to any kind of real promise as an actress." Except when she won a Tony.

    • Brad Brevet

      I guess that would matter if I based my opinion on awards.

      • News Hit

        Oooh snap, take that 'btw' ... is what I might be saying if Brad didn't run an awards-focused website.

        About 'In the Land of Blood and Honey': "Is this an Oscar contender we may have overlooked?"

        About 'The Flowers of War': "Yimou teams with Bale in the potential Foreign Language Oscar nominee."

        About 'The Descendents': "A guaranteed Oscar nomination for George Clooney"

        There is nothing wrong with being conscious of awards, but to suggest that you are above the idea of awards is a little hypocritical.

        • Brad Brevet

          Not above, they just don't make my opinion. I don't believe I have ever said something is good because it won an award. None of the comments you reference show me saying one of those films is better because it won an award. That would be hypocritical, your use of the word hypocritical means nothing.

          • News Hit

            No, you're right. If you run a site that is awards-based, and you don't base your feelings on awards at all, that does not make you a hypocrite: it makes you a cynic, someone who promotes the importance of awards (articles, sidebars, features), whilst masking your apathy towards them.

          • rattler76

            @ News Hit
            Awards are important in the movie business.
            So a site reporting on movies should (if not must) include them.

            just because Brad doesn't base his own personal opinions on awards you think he shouldn't report on awards?

  • Cinesnatch

    I agree with Garrett, but I take exception to Viral Vora's comment about Eva Mendes. Mendes has more going for her. She was quite charming in the Will Smith movie.

  • rattler76

    The commercial is horrible but to be honest I find most perfume commercials terrible.
    They all try (WAY to hard) to be soooooo interesting and artsy.
    But the Scarlett one includes BAD acting as well.

    And what about the Hugh Laurie commercial for Loreal? (If you have it that is)
    Hugh is responsible for some of the most iconic brittish comedy as writer and actor. Then in House he shows he can seriously act serious as well.
    But suddenly all the built up respect gets dented the first time you see the add on tv......
    Oh Hugh. What have you done?

  • Steve J

    You know she has a sense of humor if she did "Robot Chicken".

  • Bayana

    And since when were perfume commercials a platform for good acting? have you seen Charlize Theron's Dior ads? or that recent one with Melanie Laurent? I have had it with you critics and blogger sh*tting on Scarlett. I've had it. She is not the greatest actress but the girl can act. I saw her on stage and she was electrifying. Sure, she sometimes relies on "pretty" ( like 80% of actresses in her generation) but when she delivers, she delivers.

    You have definitely lost cool points Brad. Your bias is showing. Cover it up with a piece of cloth because it reeks.

  • Winchester

    Yeah, this ad has been playing for a couple of weeks in the UK.

    1 - Yes, it's a hilariously bad commercial, but in fairness I would agree that basically most of them are. Some are still worse than usual though, and this one is.

    2 - Yes, she's being terrible in it. I don't know if it's herself, or some attempt at Meta where's she's something else playing something else...............oh, who cares, she's unconvincing no matter what the heck she's meant to be. Although the awful hairdo distracted me the first couple of times I saw it.

    However, I'm not really on the Johansson train anyway and I never have been. I believe her reputation stems mostly from the 2003 double whammy of 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' and 'Lost in Translation'. The first of which I haven't actually seen yet and the second of which I find an intolerable bore............unless it's 3am and I'm a little booze buzzed and chilled after a night out when it suddenly metamorphosises into a little masterpiece. Go figure.

    If any of that sounds like I'm out to get her - it's not. I've just never been that awed by her. She's not a bad actress in most of her films, but never someone I was really ever impressed by.

  • Ben

    I can't wait for her to just dissapear. Her acting is dismal and her looks are alarmingly overrated by too many people. Then there's the nude photo 'scandal'...oh my gosh, how SHOCKING!!! Just GO AWAY.

  • Alyssa

    I was amazed when I first saw this commercial. It is actually the most unintentionally ridiculous thing I've ever seen. She is just so awkward. I agree with some of the comments, she was really good in the girl with the pearl earring but really if I was just judging her talent from this commercial, I would say that she is one of the worst actresses out there.