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Paris Hilton had nothing to lose when she released “Paris.” Who really cared how it sounded? The point was to issue a new product bearing that famous brand name.

Miss Johansson, conversely, did have something to lose.

Gone, at least temporarily, is the mysterious, unapproachable starlet; here now is Scarlett Johansson, the foolhardy twentysomething who sings perhaps even worse than the average jane.

Compared to celebrities close to her in age - Miss Hilton, Miss Lohan, Britney Spears - Miss Johansson has been a fine wine to their canned domestic beer. She guards her privacy jealously. She tries mightily to deflect the attention of tabloids.

Since her revelatory performance in “Translation,” she has entered the orbit of filmmaker Woody Allen, helping revitalize his career as much as he has lent gravitas to hers.

She chooses acting projects with the same fearlessness that she brought to “Anywhere I Lay My Head.”

There’s a word for such a personality: artist.

Speaking of artists, we ought to let them fail from time to time.