Movie Review: Her [2013]

Excuse me Siri, but Scarlett is better, a lot better!

Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely man, who just went through a divorce from childhood sweetheart Catherine (Rooney Mara). Shortly after that, he stopped being sociable - no dating, no friends, just work and video games. The same time, Theodore has the most romantic job ever - he writes love letters instead of people who can not express their feelings in writing.

Mr. Twombly's life is not something one should be envy of. He literally moves in between his work place and apartment, having zero contact with other people. Most likely, Theodore lives in averagely distant future, since computers & operating systems are extremely smart and comfortable, doing any job humans don't wish to do - from writing letters, to reading, sorting and collecting emails, organizing calendars, planning meeting and taking cares of their owners...

Introduction with Twombly is followed by major plot twist - he buys a new operating system called Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) with the sexiest possible voice and extreme curiosity, which tends her  to discover "everything about everything". Theodore, who is not get used to be taken care by somebody, as awkwardly as it sounds falls in love with OS. Naturally, the first reaction of me and any other person is "what? really? how", but while they explore their "relationship" this questions fade away. Spike Jones very smart, original, well built screenplay opens and answers a lot questions by dragging you into this complicated relationship. Obviously, Her is not mostly about "human falls in love with program", everything happening between those two characters can happen to everyone and this is what movie actually discuss.

Despite how you understand what Spike tried to say or demonstrate, despite you agree with it or not, there are some sure things that will definitely astonish you. By all means, it is brilliant cinematography, production design and costumes. Unlikely to this type of movies, those three technical parts are outstandingly done. Colors are very carefully chosen, mostly dominated by shiny ones, like bright red and yellow. Every shot in every scene is delightful. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema absolutely captured and delivered sunniness with pastel colors.

Set in Lost Angeles, production designer K.K. Barrett & art director Austin Gorg managed to give the movie invaluable designs, making Theodore's living and working rooms in most imaginary way. Costume designer Casey Storm actually created a new trend for future generations based on cutting-edge fashion.

Except originality of whole idea, Her is exemplary well written with carefully though, funny, very natural and easy-to-listen (but not simple) dialogues. In the beginning, story develops a little slowly, turning into more rapidly changing events that culminats in the end. Characters are interesting, complex and uniquely exceptional, especially Samantha, who definitely is the best OS character in movie history.

Joaquion Phoenix delivers damn awesome performance portraying anti-sociable, lonely, computer games addicted man, who lives quite boring life. His character varies from extreme despair to happiness, from tears to laughs and from breakup to falling in love. Phoenix is equally brilliant in every part of it. Scarlett gives the best voice-over performance ever. It is not about having a sexy voice, it is only about how much emotions an actress puts in every word and Johanson's each speech precisely delivered her mood, excitement or offence. Moreover, Amy Adams, who plays Amy - Twombly's friend, is good as an emotional, cute girl who experiences trouble in current relationship. The rest of cast, which includes Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, Bill Hader and Spike Jones himself are just as good as they have to be.

Her is definitely the most pleasant and emotional watching experience of the year. In a very middle you may seem to be a little bored, but don't give up, it is truly worth of spending two hours.

Oscar chances?! I am absolutely sure about original screenplay nomination and even win. It is not safe choice for either cinematography, production design or costumes but I loved them. If I voted I'd be nominated it, but most likely it won't happen. Joaquin can be considered for Best Actor, but this year's competition is so tough that he can not survive it. Another almost sure nomination is Best Original Song for The Moon Song which perfectly accompanies semi melancholic mood of the film. I'd love to see Her among Best Picture nominees, which can actually happen but you can't be absolutely sure. 

2 comments:

  1. I definitely agree that there was great production quality, but I don't agree about the writing. I think the Golden Globes got it entirely wrong the other night. There were plot holes in the script that were too big to let go (what happened to his kid? I also wanted to know more about the marriage). I think it was well written in comedic aspects, but as far as writing to attain some larger truth or to make a statement about society, a lot was missing. Great post regardless of the point of view; every one is entitled to their own!!

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  2. Thanks Tim. I am not sure who's kid you are talking about. The little baby in the movie, what not Theodore and Catherine's child.


    I think that Academy will go the same way

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