With La Dolce Vita, the next film I need to review in my IMDb list proving hard to come by (I gave up and ordered it off Amazon), I decided to give a quick review of a film I’ve wanted to watch for some time, Her, the Oscar nominated film from Spike Jonze starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and the voice of Scarlett Johansson.
Her is set in the near future and tells a truly fascinating story of Theodore Twombly, played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix, a professional letter writer who falls in love with a hyper intelligent Operating System, voiced by Johannsson, and although this story may have seemed ridiculous ten years ago, in today’s technological landscape it seems highly plausible, and done with the style and grace that Jonze creates here, it is truly a wonderful movie.
The Future Looks Real
Jonze’s depiction of the future is mesmerising and wholly realistic, from OS systems that can emote and even love to talking adverts, writing letters via your voice and of course computer games with adorable little characters that tell you to fuck off, everything about this story seems very real and plausible, which gives it a beautiful and serene like quality, and really makes it fascinating to watch. I personally found it the best creation of our future world since Minority Report… Slightly different films though.
Joaquin Phoenix also showcased why he is one of the top Hollywood actors today and certainly one of my favourites. Theodore Twombly is both loveable and creepy in equal measure but I don’t think you really judge him for the relationship he builds with Samantha, his OS system. Their relationship actually feels real, it is beautifully explored, helped by a brilliant performance from Johansson, who using only her voice gives a stunning performance, and really makes you care for an A.I in a way I didn’t really think would be possible.
Although I am sure Samantha Morton, who originally recorded the voice of Samantha would have been wonderful; you can’t help but feel it would almost be impossible to top Johansson’s performance, and Jonze made an excellent casting decision.
The two leads are complimented by excellent performances from Amy Adams, Chris Pratt and Olivia Wilde, who aren’t overshadowed by this incredible world Jonze has created, and install the human feelings and elements that are still paramount to the world they are in, such as Adams failing relationship with her husband and potential love of Theodore.
A Technological Romance
I found that the first hour or so of the film may have been better than the end, simply because of the wonder you first feel as we discover and explore this technological depiction of Earth in a not so distant future, but really the whole movie had me entirely enthralled, and I can’t imagine there will ever be a much better love story between a man and his computer.
I can safely say Her has quickly catapulted itself into one of my top 20 or so favourite films of all time, and whether you’re interested in the technological aspects of the film or the romance elements, I think this movie has something for everyone. And his phone sex conversation with Sexy Kitten is amazing; just don’t watch it with your parents.
My Rating: 9/10