Spike Jonze‘s Her is a beautiful film that fills audiences with hope even with an ever-changing digital landscape. It’s comical and has a lighthearted feel that emanates. Unfortunately, it’s slightly predictable and drawn out story stops it from being the perfect movie.
- Director: Spike Jonze
- Writer: Spike Jonze
- Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde, Brian Cox, Kristen Wiig, Portia Doubleday
- Cinematography by: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Theodore (Phoenix) is mindlessly going through life, trying to recuperate from his recent divorce. When he installs a new artificial intelligence program (voiced by Johansson), he starts to see the world in a different light as she pushes him out of his shell.
- The Futuristic World: Throughout the years, Spike Jonze has honed his visual style, giving us soft but eye-catching variety in every shot. It really stands out in Her as the film weaves in and out of hues of pink, blue and gray. The film gives an intriguing but plausible idea of what Los Angeles could be in the future. The way the technology’s placed and used is very interesting. We can already check our email with glasses, so it’s easy to believe having a bluetooth that can give us that plus a newsfeed. At the same time the technology isn’t overwhelming. It doesn’t take away from the love story that’s happening in front of us.
- Jonze: Speaking of Jonze, we have to bring up his creative process that made this movie so entrancing to watch. Each of his films contain a burst of life and beauty that so few really encompass. Jonze does it again with Her, a well done cinematic story that is easily relatable and fun to watch.
- Performances: Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the reserved but bright eyed Theodore is refreshing and lively. His story arc is similar to reviving a dying plant. You’ll absolutely love his transformation with his ever-growing outlook on life. We’ve all been in his position and therefore it’s easier for us to go on this slightly strange but entertaining journey of rediscovery. Even though we never see Scarlett Johansson as the A.I. program Samantha, her slightly scratchy voice brings a lot more personality into the character. The chemistry between her and Phoenix is so tangible that you’ll fall in love with her voice too. The rest of the cast is charming in their own ways as they add another layer of vibrant color amongst the futuristic landscape. There are also a couple of voice over cameos, so make sure you look out for those.
- Where the Story Goes: After a short time you realize what kind of path the story is leading on. In some ways it’s a fairly predictable tale, giving you the impression that Theodore will either have a incredibly happy or some-what content ending. There are a couple of lulls within the plot but it’s not damaging to the point where your interest wanes. The message is clear and sweet, and that alone makes Her worth watching.
In some ways, Her is a feel-good movie, filled with vibrant colors and fantastic performances. It’s definitely one of the standout films of the year.
The Rating: 9/10
Her opens in limited released December 18 and wide January 10.
Will you be seeing Her this weekend?