Sunday, January 12 2014, 03:31 PM MST
Movie Review: Her
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Spike Jonez
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
Rated: RGenre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Recommended To: Those looking for an intelligent musing on the purpose of love and the future of romance.
Synopsis: Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is haunted by the failure of his first marriage. Retreating to the solace of being alone he begins a relationship with Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), his newly acquired operating system.
Review: Spike Jonez has always been an inventive director. With films like Adaptation, Being John Malkovich and his adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are he has constantly taken audiences into his rampant imagination. Her is his most realistic and seemingly intimate film, which considering the premise might feel like a stretch; its not. Jonez's film explores how our relationship with technology evolves with every leap forward. The jump from Siri to Samantha, the name chosen by Theodore's personalized operating system, isn't inconceivable. In many ways it feels probable. But Jonez isn't content to simply explore the possibility of falling in love with a computer and delves into the purpose of relationships and the need to be understood and connected with. None of this works without the tremendous performance from Joaquin Phoenix or Scarlett Johansson, who never appears but is always present. Phoenix is a wonderful everyman, a good, but lonely and flawed soul in search of himself. Without him the film could spiral into intellectual mumblings. Through him its thought provoking and breathtakingly beautiful.
-Ryan Michael Painter