Monday, January 27, 2014


Movie Name: Her
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Kai Chen, Brian Cox
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

Director Spike Jonze is back after his adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are", from 2009. "Her" is his first original screenplay, which takes place in the near future and focuses on the story of Theodore Twombly, a gifted and sensitive writer. Theodore is going through a breakup/divorce, and is having difficulties coping with his loneliness and relating to others. Theodore decides to buy a new operating system for his computer, one that learns and adapts to reality (an artificial intelligence one). This OS, aptly named Samantha, starts learning more about Theodore, and slowly an amorous relationship builds between these two seemingly different personas.
"Her" is a delicate and nuanced film that touches on many of the topics that are relevant to today's lives and relationships. The film ponders the way technology impacts our lives and how we as individuals relate to each other, in terms of communication and in terms of emotions. Theodore, the main focus of the story, is an every day man, sensitive and caring, going through the process of dissolving a relationship, and much to his sadness, realizes that technology may be a good partner, until he realizes that the emotional resonance simply isn't there. For all that technology potentiates, human contact and emotional warmth and presence, are still eminently humane. The film is beautifully shot by Hoyte Van Hoytema, and has a phenomenal cast, starting with the stupendous Joaquin Phoenix, the always great Amy Adams, and featuring a striking performance from Scarlett Johansson, as the voice of Samantha. This is a beautifully rendered film, one that is prescient of times to come, that is simultaneously tender, caring and humorous. Worth watching!