"I feel like I can be anything with you."
Set in the future, Her is about a man who fell in love with his female operating system (It's Scarlet Johansson, what testosterone-infused human being wouldn't? LOL). Sounds silly? Not really. In this internet age, every kind of relationship is possible. Who's to say that falling in love with someone you haven't even seen is not right? You talk to that "person" every single day, you share your innermost thoughts, your dreams, your feelings. You tell that "person" everything without second thoughts. You "connect" with that "person." Who's to say that's not love? This film gives us a closer look & a wider understanding of what a relationship is, conventional or not. Love is universal. Emotions are real as they are felt.
|Directed & written by: Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation)|
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams
Music by: Arcade Fire
Cinematography by: Hoyte van Hoytema (Let the Right One In, The Fighter)
Editing by: Eric Zumbrunnen (Being John Malkovich), Jeff Buchanan
Running Time: 126 mins
Box Office: a little over $23 million
Her is cinematically beautiful, that's undeniable. The romance underneath the almost tangible melancholy is so bittersweet you can't help but feel it... get affected by it. You can't look away, even when you're witnessing a somehow laughable but sweet sex scene from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson.
Aside from the awesome music (Arcade Fire people! Oh and Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! Oh yeah!), cinematography, & Phoenix' poignant portrayal, there's also this small yet remarkable performance from Amy Adams. How understated, how absolutely potent. Rooney Mara is also effective as the woman shrouded in mystery, seen mostly from Theodore's (Phoenix) flashbacks - a representation of a beautiful past, a source of gloom in the present. This is also one of Scarlett Johansson's best performances. LOL.
|This is the one scene I truly connected with.|
This is simply one of the best film of 2013 thanks to Spike Jonze's brilliant handling of every camera shots, not to mention his remarkable solo screenwriting debut. I also love the set design & costume! The high-waisted pants - sexy! Haha. It just really transports you to another world in a credible way. Everything is beautiful, even in those scenes where sadness is magnified. Joaquin Phoenix is sublime. Those close-up shots where you can see every bit of minute facial expressions/emotions just makes you fall in love with him as an actor... and Jonze as a director.
And yet there's something missing that prevented me from fully connecting to this film. All the flavor is there, it really is a well-made, unique film. But I just wasn't drawn to it - or it didn't keep me glued as I initially was. Maybe you have to have your heart broken to feel this? Or at least have loved like Twombly has. I haven't experienced both.
Theodore Twombly is one of the most likeable film characters I've seen, thanks to Joaquin Phoenix' very nuanced acting. You feel his emotions. You root for the guy. Maybe because, as his friend said, he is part-man, part-woman. He's so sensitive, you just wanna hug him. But despite the brilliant screenplay, I just can't help but think, where this relationship is going? At some point, I'm not even sure if I want it to work. When Samantha SPOILERS: decided to leave with the other OSs, I was like, o-okay. Sure. What's next? Will he get back with his ex? Or develop a relationship with Adams' character? But then again, maybe this isn't about the love story per se. Maybe this is just about a story of heartbreak, of being left/jilted by someone you love. This is a story of a person coming to terms with such an experience. A common occurence told in a slightly unique way. Maybe we are just shown that things don't end (or continue, for that matter) the way we want it to be, and we just have to deal with such loss and move on. That we're only here briefly, and we should definitely allow ourselves.... joy.
My Rating: 3.5/5 - a purely subjective rating. I would rate it 4.5 - 5 for its cinematic merit.
Here are my reviews of other Oscar-nominated films:
12 Years a Slave - 4.5/5
The Wolf of Wall Street - 4.5/5
Frozen - 4/5
August: Osage County - 3.5/5
Captain Phillips - 4/5
Before Midnight - 4.5/5
Gravity - 4.5/5
YOUR POINT OF VIEW: What Oscar awards do you think this movie deserves?
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