ProCreate Her

Review: Her

Written by @ProCreateSteve

The Short-Spike Jonze creates a sweet, emotional, and powerful film that tugs on the heartstrings through wonderful performances. Her also manages to be an unbelievably real and very funny satire of social media and our dependence on technology in everyday life. Joaquin Phoenix delivers his most memorable and beautiful performance, and Scarlett Johansson is terrific through her slick and sexy voice work. Her is one of the most beautiful film of the last ten years, which made it my favorite movie of 2013.

The Long- Spike Jonze makes very beautiful, visually stunning and thought provoking films. Sometimes they miss the mark (Where the Wild Things Are) or others that are fun and poignant (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich). Her follows the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a loner whose life consists of his work and casual video game play and not much else since the impending divorce from his wife (Rooney Mara). Theodore’s job is just about the most futuristic yet realistic thing in the film, but it isn’t the only one. The most important futuristic improvement/satire on society in Her is OSone, the operating system that pairs into your phone/computer (through an earpiece among other devices) and through a system of questions OSone gives you an artificial intelligence that helps you with everything from managing your computer files, spellchecking, to reading your emails, and booking restaurants. OSOne is the computer program of the future and through it Theodore is introduced to Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the kind, silk voice that begins his change from depressed future divorcee to someone with a little more life.

Joaquin Phoenix Her

Her is a comedy but also a drama and while the comedic and dramatic moments are sometimes split it pulls the double duty nicely.  Her is a beautiful film with incredible visuals and a heart wrenching story. The film also includes two incredible performances, one from Joaquin Phoenix who is at his best.  Phoenix’s performance is marked by his character's overwhelming feelings of loneliness but also the hope that he brings to the role. He gives a beautifully low key, incredibly real piece of acting. Phoenix manages to break your heart and charm you all at the same time. He is not alone. Scarlett Johansson who wasn’t always supposed to be in the role of Samantha (she was brought into the role in post-production) is incredibly convincing and earnest as the OS that wins over the heart of literally everyone. Johansson’s voice performance is beautiful and entrancing. While it probably won’t be recognized by the academy it should be considered some of her finest work. The supporting cast is also helped by a nice performance from Amy Adams as Theodore’s best friend, as well as Chris Pratt who plays a co-worker.

We already know that Her manages to be both comedy and drama but where it scored big with me is as a satire, a satire of our reliance on technology and even a look into our future favorite technological advances. The first example is Theodore’s job, a company where you hire incredible writers to write your love letters. Writers who you hire and get to know then they write “handwritten” letters for you to give to your loved ones, a job Theodore is fairly brilliant at. Jonze creates a futuristic version of LA that looks more like Hong Kong or Tokyo, and some awesome looking pieces of technology, Some that resemble technology that will at some point does more than fall in love with you or feign real emotion but the technology that one day decides to take over the world.

Her may not take home the awards but for me it has become my favorite movie of 2013, thanks to Jonze’s incredible direction, and two of my favorite performances of the year, I am fairly certain I didn’t enjoy a movie more this year than I did Her.

Final Grade- A+

Steven Panzarella: ProCreate Film Critic

Steven Panzarella has been reviewing movies for as long as he can remember, but his passion flourished while working at 88.7 FM WRHU, and writing for popgoestheweek.com.

Steven is ProCreate's resident film critic.

@ProCreateSteve


Cast and Crew

Her

Annapurna Pictures

Directed by- Spike Jonze

Written by- Spike Jonze

Starring- Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, and Olivia Wilde

Watch the movie here: 

Her

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