Cannes Flashback: Scarlett Johansson Scored a Croisette Debut With ‘Match Point’


It’s somewhat surprising that Scarlett Johansson had been making films for over a decade before she first walked the Cannes Film Festival red carpet. Match Point, her initial collaboration with Woody Allen, lured her to the Croisette.

Johansson took over the lead role in the psychological thriller after Kate Winslet had dropped out. She starred opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays a tennis pro in a relationship with Chloe (Emily Mortimer) when he develops feelings for actress Nora (Johansson), who is engaged to his friend (Matthew Goode) who is also Chloe’s brother. 

THR’s review noted that Allen’s movie marked “the most startling departure in his filmmaking career,” despite his résumé including such serious fare as 1989’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. Ultimately, critic Kirk Honeycutt wrote, the film’s distinct lack of comedic repartee hindered its character development: “Match Point is a story designed more to prove a philosophical point than to examine a social milieu or a particular cast of characters.”

 


After it screened out of compeтιтion at Cannes, DreamWorks nabbed the тιтle and gave it an awards release in late December 2005, a strategy that earned the film four Golden Globe nominations, including best supporting actress for Johansson, and an Oscar nod for Allen’s tense script.

The director would go on to cast her in Scoop and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the latter also debuting out of compeтιтion at Cannes.

 

 


Although Johansson was not on hand for the Vicky premiere, her presence is set to be felt at the fest again with Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, which counts the actress as part of a star-studded ensemble cast that also includes Tom Hanks, Jason Schwartzman and Jeffrey Wright. Premiering in compeтιтion, the film about the commotion surrounding a youth stargazing convention held in a small desert town in the 1950s is set for stateside release from Focus Features.

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