Saturday, January 11, 2014
MOVIE REVIEW: HER
A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after a long love affair ends, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He starts the program and meets "Samantha" (Scarlett Johansson), whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though "friends" initially, the relationship soon deepens into love.. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams
Release Date: Dec 18, 2013
Rated R for language, Brief Graphic Nudity and Sexual Content
Runtime: 1 hr. 59 min.
Spike Jonze Her is a beautifully told love story that’s about as dense as week old muffins. Jonze’s, who also wrote the script, film is set in the hipster populated near future where a lonely man falls in love with a sentience operating system but it’s all a proxy for a myriad of themes and ideas. It’s delicate and harsh at the same time with the emotional journey ringing true throughout. You could say this film is about increasingly detached world or about journey we go through in relationships or the evolution of a person as they grow and learn. Any one of those would be correct in my opinion and there are still other thematic elements at play throughout. Joaquin Phoenix turns in an awards caliber performance, especially when you consider the fact that he was acting by himself for the better part of the film only with Johansson’s voice to work with. It’s an impressive turn from the start were we sense the character’s loneliness and the emotional journey he goes through. It maybe his best work to date. Johansson’s voice work is equally impressive. She creates a tangible character with emotional weight which is quite a trick since she’s just a disembodied voice. They both have a discernable rapport together which makes the emotions feel real. It’s a strangely impressive feat for the film. There are some issues albeit minor ones. The allegory does occasionally veer into pretentious territory by taking things into silly extremes. Additionally, the story is overlong, needlessly meandering for portions of the 2nd act before moving to its inevitable conclusion.