Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Avengers for their setting of a cinematic record, being the first movie to earn over $100,000,000 in its second week.
While I offer up my congratulations to Ms. Johansson for her honor and I’m sure she is a wonderful person in person, it seems to me that this accolade is simply given out to those who have the money and something to promote.
As my case in point, I offer up Scarlett Johansson. Two days before the United States premiere of The Avengers, Johansson is awarded with Star Number 2,470. Coincidence…probably not.
Growing up as I did in California, I would often play tourist and walk up and down Hollywood Boulevard and Vine to gaze at all the stars. To me, it appeared that the names on those plaques were dedicated to those people who had made a grand name for themselves in the world of entertainment (e.g., movies, television, radio, music).
Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, and Gene Kelly all have stars and all are legends in the motion picture industry. To that list, one can now add Scarlett Johansson. Why?
Go ahead…name four films (other than flicks where she is the Black Widow) that Scarlett Johansson has been in (and no fair using IMDB).
To help you out (and thanks to IMDB), you can answer Lost in Translation, Girl With the Pearl Earring, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, The Island, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and even We Bought a Zoo.
If anyone of those are even close to being in the same league as North by Northwest, Casablanca, An American in Paris, or starting up your own movie studio, then I will eat my non-existent hat.
Stack her cinematic accomplishments against other people who were awarded a star in 2012.
John Cusak was given a star and according to IMDB he has 65 acting credits to his name including Sixteen Candles, Better Off Dead, Stand By Me, Say Anything…, High Fidelity, and The Grifters just to name a few. He also has ten producer credits and five writer credits so that shows he is more than just a darn fine actor.
In addition, also in 2012, some bass guitarist, songwriter, and singer from Liverpool, England, received a star on the fabled boulevard.
Seriously, what kind of system is it that, in the same year, gives out its prestigious award to an actress who has only been acting since 1994 against an actor/producer/writer who’s been in the business since 1983 and the Englishman who was one half of the most successful songwriting duo of all time (Lennon-McCartney), a member of one of the most influential bands in the world (The Beatles), frontman for another not-bad band (Wings), and who has gone to have a fairly decent solo career?
It is a system where for only the low, low price of $30,000 (there’s your number for the day), a celebrity can have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Granted, there are some caveats about being nominated and being approved, but it certainly does not help the prestige of the award when stars appears to be handed out those who also happen to be plugging movies as Johansson did with The Avengers and Cusak did The Raven.
With that thought in mind, look for Natalie Portman to be on Hollywood or Vine, come 2013, to unveil her star…just in time for the premiere of Knight of Cups (but at least she has an Oscar, for Black Swan on her mantel).