Her 2013

her-2013

Spike Jonze fashioned a surprisingly empathetic tone-poem to technology with his 2013 romance, with Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, a writer who finds himself falling in love with the operating system of his mobile phone. Voiced by Scarlett Johansson, Samantha reads his email, promotes his work and seems more in tune with Theodore than his dates (Olivia Wilde), his ex (Rooney Mara) or the girl next door (Amy Adams). But digital love is hard to consummate, and Theodore and Samantha face many of the same problems as any long distance relationship; lacking physicality in each other’s world, they struggle to maintain their connection. Jonze uses real locations to suggest the near future, and the technology looks highly viable; while much of the film is just Theodore talking to himself, Phoenix pulls off a gently comic performance. And Johansson’s voice is perfect; it’s hard to imaging how this would have played if they’d retained Samantha Morton in the role. Her is a delicate, melancholy film, but one that relates to a time when communication is everywhere, but the users of the technology feel more alone than ever.

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2 Comments

    • Good question; I think as his budgets get bigger, he seems to be able to find a wider canvas. Wild Things lacks the narrative pull that a feature requires, the material is overstretched, but it’s technically well done. But Her is a more seemless movie, and the way he uses foreign landscapes to suggest a domestic future is ingenious. I think he’s filing down the rough edges of his cinema nicely.

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