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movie review Her

Review: Her

After seeing Her in theatres, I couldn’t help but want more. Spike Jonze’s take on our not so distant future revealed much about who we have become as a species and who we are at our core.

Scarlett Johansson’s performance of the OS Samantha truly was Oscar worthy. Though she didn’t get nominated for Best Actress, likely because it was voice work. (On a separate note: the academy or the Golden Globes should add a category for voice work because people like Mark Hamill, Nolan North, Troy Baker, and now Scarlett Johansson should really be recognized for their tremendous talents.) Now I know, I’m a little bit of an odd bird, but I could fully see how Theodore could fall in love with her. Hell, I was falling in love with her during the course of the movie.

Scarlett Johansson’s performance wasn’t the only Oscar worthy performance, as Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as Theodore Twombly was equally as fantastic. Joaquin is just an amazing actor, who I have felt is vastly unappreciated ever since his role as Commodus in Gladiator. His portrayal of a deeply sad man who is having trouble dealing with his past and moving on with his life is so realistic that we no longer see the actor playing the role, but instead view this character as a real person. If that’s not the definition of good acting, I don’t know what is.

Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde, Mara Rooney, and the rest of the supporting cast were also perfect and beautifully nuanced in their individual roles. I even recall at one point in the movie, as Theodore is describing a couple to Samantha that he sees out in public and thinking to myself that even though they had no spoken dialogue they looked just like regular people out at the mall.

Spike Jonze’s direction was brilliant too, and at times reminded me of Wes Anderson. Though the startling difference was that it was like a Wes Anderson world devoid of heavy handed story telling. The world of Her was a living world, unlike the all too often play-like structure of a Wes Anderson film. Jonze’s use of silence was also golden. I see so many directors feeling like we need to fill every single moment of the movie with exposition about what a character is feeling, instead of just showing us how they feel. When I’m feeling sad at home I don’t sit there and explain to myself why I’m sad… I just feel it, and if anyone were to see me in that moment they would feel it as well.

Her not only had two Oscar worthy performances & Oscar worthy writing & direction, but it also demonstrated that while technology and our world is constantly evolving our need for emotional connection to others is one thing that we will never lose. I often wonder about who we’re becoming as a species, and the ending of this film just reaffirmed that while our world changes and the way we communicate each other changes, our capacity for love will never change.

Her, not only was one of my favorite movies of the year, but it is now amongst my favorite movies of all time.

5 Stars (5 / 5)