Starring-Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johannson
Scott’s Review #147
Reviewed August 5, 2014
Her is a very unique film that is directed by Spike Jonze. The film tells the tale of a lonely, depressed man named Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who lives in a beautiful high-rise in futuristic Los Angeles. He works as a writer for a company that creates intimate cards for people in relationships. Having suffered a recent divorce, he then falls in love with his computerized operation system named Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson- voice only. Conflicts emerge as the relationship deepens and intensifies. Her is a love story so uniquely crafted, but also a story of loneliness and of the world of technology that we now live in.
It portrays human relationships as troubled and unsuccessful yet several characters have wonderful relationships with computers. Is this what the future may really bring with human beings? How many people have fallen in love with a fantasy or a voice on the phone? The film ponders why relationships have been changed due to technological advances and wonders what will happen even further into the future. Technology, while wonderful, has changed our interpersonal relationships and this film successfully delves deeply into that aspect. Conversation is a lost art and Her features the joys and the tragedies of technology. Visually, the film is successful in that it portrays Los Angeles in a sophisticated, ultra sleek, modern way that is fascinating to look at. Several technological games are featured (the Alien child is brilliantly comical) and the “Mom points” fascinating in its irony. Her is a deep film that raises questions and I applaud this in modern cinema.
Her is a slow moving film to be sure, but a questioning one. Her won the 2013 Best Original Screenplay Oscar and I am so glad the academy recognized the originality of this film.