Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde
Duration: 126 mins
Release Date: 16 January, 2014
The New Daily says: Destined to be a cult favourite, Spike Jonze’s offbeat, intelligent tale is flawlessly produced, poignant and emotional. The love affair between Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha, an operating system reminiscent of Siri version 48, voiced by sultry Scarlett Johansson, is so preposterous it just might happen. Against the backdrop of an imagined future, the genius Her provides plenty of hijinks: three-dimensional video games, crowds having passionate conversations with their (very smart) smartphones, oddball juice containers, hipster high-waisted fashion trends and endless high-rise buildings. Using present-day Shanghai for many of the outdoor scenes, the film’s mise-en-scene is utterly believable, much like the breathtakingly original relationship at it’s heart.
There are small but memorable turns from Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara and Kristen Wiig, but the real star is Joaquin Phoenix who, often alone and riding a complex wave of emotions, is a revelation.
A husky, instantly recognisable Scarlett Johansson also drives the film. British actress Samantha Morton originally recorded the voice of “Her”, and was on set each day performing her role from a portable soundproof booth. Somewhere along the lengthy, 18-month post-production line, Jonze replaced Morton with Johansson, who brings incredible depth to the disembodied role. It’s quite a feat.
Her says so much about human relationships in our disconnected times, it’s hard not to see it as a poignant, fabulously entertaining harbinger.
Rotten Tomatoes says: 94% – “Sweet, soulful, and smart, Spike Jonze’s Her uses its just-barely-sci-fi scenario to impart wryly funny wisdom about the state of modern human relationships.”
The Guardian says: “How did such a sharply conceived movie end on such a woozy note? It’s almost as if the haze above Los Angeles descends to envelop the rest of the film.”
Entertainment Weekly says: “Jonze’s satiric, brave-new-world premise is undeniably clever, but it’s also a bit icy emotionally. He clearly has a lot on his mind about how seductive technology is and how much easier life would be if we could insulate ourselves from messy human emotions. But in the end, those ideas end up appealing to your head more than your heart.”
See it: With your mate Siri. Or alone, to suit the melancholic mood of the film.
Kids? Highly advanced cyber sex rules out those under 15.