Woman on the Verge

'O' Magazine, December 2003
By B. Ruby Rich

Scarlett Johansson began acting when she was 8, impressed critics at 12 in the indie hit Manny & Lo, and earned great notices at 14 in The Horse Whisperer. On that accelerated schedule, it should be no surprise that at 19 she's made the transition from fine kid actor to astonishing adult star, first in Lost in Translation and even more impressively this month, in Girl with a Pearl Earring. As Griet, a maid in the house of the artist Johannes Vermeer, she effortlessly inhabits the universe of 17th-century Holland. Using elegant restraint, Johansson allows her eminently watchable face to supply everything that her lines omit. She reaches a state of magnetic grace, becoming, with heart-stopping brilliance, the very embodiment of a leading lady.

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