Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Her review

Spike Jonze is awesome.
The guy has done some great stuff. Being John Malkovich is genius and one of my favorite movies. Adaptation was really good also. Where the Wild Things Are, while not as good as his past directorial efforts, was beautiful and pretty good. None of them compare to Her. I have to admit, as good as it looked originally, I was quite skeptical. All the critics were praising it so much and it was winning so many awards. This made me skeptical because I thought that the amount it was being hyped, the film could never live up to. I was dead wrong. It lived up to it, and then some. Her is about Theodore Twombly. (Joaquin Phoenix) He's going through a tough divorce. Theodore is lonely, so he buys an artificially intelligent operating system (with the voice of Scarlett Johansson) named Samantha. Slowly, Theodore falls in love with Samantha, and Samantha falls in love with Theodore. Thus begins the beautifully strange movie that is Her. Honestly, if you haven't seen the movie yet, just stop reading and go see it now. I wouldn't want to ruin anything. Her is great for a number of reasons. It shows the relationship between Theodore and Samantha, not as this strange weird thing, but as an understandable and real relationship. You almost begin to understand why this is happening. The whole human/operating system relationship is surprisingly easily to understand and relate to. Spike Jonze did a fantastic job with that. And Scarlett Johansson did a great job too. I can imagine it's hard to communicate all the emotion and feeling she did with just her voice. That worked really well. The whole new take on the modern relationship was very clever and well done, but it's not the only thing that makes this film so great. Spike Jonze does a great job of seeing where we might be in only a few years. Sure some of the technology is more advanced, but it's not too far away from where we are now. It's kind of awesome and kind of scary that stuff like this could happen in our lifetime. Jonze makes this near-future seem real and comparable to our society now. At one point, Theodore is sitting on the steps leading up from the subway. This is one of the first times in the film when he isn't completely absorbed by Samantha and his phone or computer. He watches as people come up the steps. Every person is talking to their operating system or looking at their phone. It's a sad moment, but if you think about it, it's just a reflection of today. Spike Jonze covers that beautifully, without hitting you over the head with it. He also manages to cover and explain all the questions problems with artificial intelligence. Jonze brings up a lot of other points about consciousnesses and being. Some great films before it like Moon and Blade Runner have dealt with similar issues, but not to the extent the Her has. It's astounding the level of creativity and emotion Spike Jonze put into this film. As cheesy as it sounds, Her made me laugh, cry, smile, and question life. It's some movie. Her is about the relationship between a man and his operating system, but it's also about so much more. I'm having trouble putting my feelings and what I think about this movie into words because the movie is just so good. Her is, without a doubt, the best film of the year. The writing and directing is fantastic, the themes are so well dealt with, and the acting is great. Joaquin Phoenix is obviously a great actor. He's been terrific in stuff like The Master and Gladiator. Her is one of his better performances. He portrays Theodore perfectly, not making him a sad-sack loser, but still showing that he is a lonely and hurt man. Phoenix carries a decent chunk of the film on his back, but he does it expertly. Amy Adams is great too, as Theodore's friend Amy. Amy Adams is having a great year. First she was in the big budget Man of Steel. Then gave a great performance in American Hustle. Now she shows off her talent again in Her. She's getting a lot of recognition for American Hustle, but I'm surprised she got none for Her. I don't know what else to say, just go see the film and you'll understand what makes Her such a masterpiece. I hope Spike Jonze does more solo stuff because this was brilliant. I give Her 5 out of 5. It is truly the best film of the year. Happy Viewing and Happy New Year! You can always stay up to date by following me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and liking me on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhitsMovies.      

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