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lachyas's avatar

lachyas

The biggest achievement of Her is that it makes you feel sorry for a guy who has dated Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, and Scarlett Johansson's voice.
6 years 10 months ago
frankqb's avatar

frankqb

In less skilled hands, "Her" would be a mess of dry, emotional philosophy. What sets the film apart is Jonze's ability to drag us so willingly into this relationship between a man and his OS without being dry philosophy. It is a comforting place to be, inside this relationship. Jonze, Johansson and Joaquin (all of whom are deserving of awards) manage to pull us in like a warm embrace, and, in doing so, show us the realities of human relationships through a very inhuman relationship. The film is incredibly emotionally savvy with all the characters displaying an emotional closeness unusual for a mainstream film. It is through Samantha, the OS, that Jonze shows us how to achieve a similar level of emotional intimacy with others. The film never demonizes technology, but shows us how isolated and unattached it has made us. To paraphrase one line from the film that can serve as a résumé: "Get out of your head, and be with me".

There is much joy, love, and some lust here, but also pain, sadness. Such are modern relationships -- full of doubt, pain and regret, but we keep reaching to others because we all need that intimacy. The questions "Her" raises are: "Are we okay with getting this intimacy without real human interaction?" and, if so, "How real can a relationship that takes place in your head be?".

Original, intelligent, moving and involving. "Her" is fantastic.

4 stars out of 4
6 years 10 months ago
psdantonio's avatar

psdantonio

All other praises aside (and there are plenty), Jonze's 'Her' is a masterfully innovative story that covers themes of human existence far transcendent of any time or place.

Phoenix is remarkable, as is to be expected, and the world presented is one that rings perhaps a tad eerily too true for us technologically reliant folk.

Must watch.
6 years 10 months ago
Stoulia's avatar

Stoulia

Brilliantly filmed and acted. Utterly depressing though.
6 years 10 months ago
bandofoutsider's avatar

bandofoutsider

An intimate and moving portrayal of modern social disconnect. Through a liberal use of long lenses and bottom-heavy framing, we feel the desperate isolation and loneliness confronting Theodore (a charmingly restrained Joaquin Phoenix) and the rest of the characters as they retreat from socializing in the outside world to discharging their feelings into the digital realm.

These characters have an Operating System (or 'OS') to whom they feel uninhibited in sharing their dreams, fears, silly ideas, nonsensical thoughts, and general streams of consciousness. Theodore comes to feel that the Operating System represents the missing ingredient in his life: a being who listens with compassion, talks without judgment, and accepts him totally for who he is, no matter how he grows or changes.

But as the OSes (or OSi?) also grow and evolve as the complex beings they were programmed to be, they desire something similar to what Theodore wants: someone (or thing) that fulfills them in every possible way. When Theo is unable to give that to his OS (an ebullient ScarJo making wonderful use of her smoky voice), she becomes less and less committed to him, leaving Theo a little bit wiser, much more confused, and still very lonely.

On a personal level, this movie hit me hard, akin to the first times I saw Lost in Translation and My Dinner with Andre. There were parts where I was moved to (near)tears, and I'm excited for repeat viewings to experience that again. Highly recommended, and one of the best I've seen this year.

One final note - Spike Jonze's 'cameo' is uproarious.
6 years 11 months ago
Joker of Gotham's avatar

Joker of Gotham

Great movie, a movie with a good story about love and about relationships.
Spike Jonze does an incredible job, the script is really very good, Phoenix is Oscar worthy and Scarlett is so good, her voice work is amazing.
If you like this movie, Lars and the Real Girl is also a great movie that you will enjoy.
4.25/5
6 years 10 months ago
Scratch47's avatar

Scratch47

Touching, funny, surreal, and finally optimistic, this is easily one of the best films I've seen all year. Not only is it one of the most honest and warm explorations of both modern man and relationships I've seen in years, it expands those ideas out into a modern sci-fi reality with glimpses of the bizarre and paranoid.

On the acting front, Phoenix perfectly captures the frustrated, stunted self protection that underlies his condition, as well as the real human passion and self-awareness beating underneath, and many personal bells small and large, were rung. Thanks in particular to terrific use of body language, his journey genuinely invokes sympathy and interest throughout on both the mythological and personal levels, in spite of his flaws. Amy Adams and Rooney Mara also do well in supporting roles, even if they're essentially existential foils for the main character. Aesthetics are great, the colours are lush and warm, the design sleek in a modern tech fashion, and the score tender; in particular one moment with a piano arpeggio piece, joyously uplifting. It's also slyly hysterical and sharp about some of the interesting turns culture will take as computers become more powerful and omnipresent (full room gaming simulations, inter-office gossipy games over which computer to date, 'Perfect Mom'). But I can't end without giving some note to the final narrative turn, which grants the whole film an amazing emotional turn of phrase and future perspective. I'd never have guessed that the film ran like spoiler Displaying a level of emotional intelligence, creative talent, psychological depth, and subtle foresight far beyond its' peers, 'Her' is an absolute winner.
6 years 10 months ago
ermi's avatar

ermi

(Spoilers ahead. Don't read if you haven't watched Her.)

I didn't just watch this film; I felt it. I felt all the emotions, all the worries, all the doubts, all the heartbreaks, and all the love he felt.
At first, I was just amused with Her, like he was. Then the doubts began. What the hell? Am I stupid? I'm caring about an OS? A fictional OS in a fictional movie? The ex-wife is being completely rational. It's pathetic to love a software romantically. I wanted him to get rid of her and get a real girl.

Well. Until the "Operating System Not Found" message. That really hurt. I wasn't expecting that at all. At this point I realized this story is going to be a lot more tragic than I originally had thought. Now the last night's "I love you" had a whole new meaning.
"Her" reminded me of the the fact that you never know how much you love someone (or something) until they are gone. Love shows its true face in absence, in loss, in breaking habits. One only truly understands how much he/she's in love when the loved ones are missing.
Near the end I was really concerned about the ending. How is Jonze going to end this film? At the end I was so relieved. It was sad, but completely necessary and quite genius. The "Technological Singularity" idea was the perfect route to end this story. Anything else would have ruined this gem.

I've dedicated my whole adult life to theoretical computer science and programming. I'd be lying if I say I'd never had the fantasy of having (or making) a "computer love". Spike Jonze brilliantly captured this fantasy and perfected it beyond all my wildest imaginations.
6 years 6 months ago
taylorannephotography's avatar

taylorannephotography

So moving. It evoked such emotion that I found myself crying not because I was sad but because I felt the beauty of this film so deeply. Spike Jonze did a breathtaking job.
6 years 10 months ago
ikkegoemikke's avatar

ikkegoemikke

"The past is just a story we tell ourselves."

image

Feeling lonely. Abandoned. Then there's the moment you get to know someone. The chemistry that is created. The moments you will experience together. The laughter and tears. You discover things together. The other one makes you discover yourself. A trip. A night out. The passion. The confidence that starts to grow. The good times and the less pleasant moments. The moment you realize that you can't live without the other. The moment you get the impression that you've outgrown each other. The gnawing feeling of jealousy. Realising that she's cheating on you. The reconciliation time. The final separation ... The older you get, the more you are familiar with some of these facets of a human relationship. Some won't agree herein. For young people it's usually unknown territory. For them this is probably a boring and ridiculous film. To me, all those human emotions appeared in "Her". A brilliant compelling film which shows what human feelings are and what the consequences are. Magisterial,masterful, magical and subtly portrayed.

The sensitive and single Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) works for a "dot-com" company that sends handwritten letters to family members, friends or partners on all sorts of things. Apparently an item that is missing in this future society, as all communication is done electronically . He himself is in a fairly emotional stage. He's still dealing with the fact that his wife left him recently. In an impulse , he bought himself a new artificial intelligent system from Element Software. OS1. An intuitive entity that listens to you , understands you and knows you after a while. This entity is revealed as Samantha. An understanding, gentle and charming sounding computer voice (Scarlett Johansson), which nestles itself in the daily life of Theodore. A computer program that starts to create an awareness and passes the boundary between artificial intelligence and human awakening after a certain time. The image of Samantha that Theodore has, gradually changes from a gimmick or gadget into a soul mate and someone with whom he could share his life. He's falling in love in other words.

Is "Her" a romcom, a SF or a comedy ? Basically it's a mix of all three, with a generous portion of ingredients from every genre. Of course there are elements in this film that are known from a romcom. An impossible love with the necessary consequences. There are clearly SF elements in it such as a constant connection with the available information-technology, the IT devices used and the wall-to-wall 3D game that Theodore plays all evening. Even Samantha can be compared with the famous current "Siri" application. It's a selfish and really lonely society where every individual lives in his/her own virtual world. It's kind of creepy since this future world is almost as similar as our society nowadays. Today, no one can live without their smart-phone, personal computer with email capabilities and social media. The computerized world as we know it today, can't live without the artificial intelligence. And occasionally the film is also quite laughable in a hilarious way ( the cybersex that Theodore has with Sexy Kitten and a dead cat playing a key role in it) and sometimes in a mocking, biting, sarcastic way ( the picnic where everyone converses with Samantha as if she was there in the flesh) .

Joaquin Phoenix plays in an outstanding way the emotionally distraught Theodore. Not an easy task as his role mainly consists in showing emotions just with the use of facial expressions. Yet I found it masterly and sometimes moving to see him swinging back and forth between different emotions. Ditto for Scralett Johansson. Despite the fact that we only hear her voice, she manages to show the proper emotion. The only visual thing we see, is the reaction of Theodore. And what a beautiful voice she has. Peppered with the right key and timbre that matches the feeling at that time. From cheerful and funny, to troubled, hurt and jealous. All this with a warm, sultry and sometimes hoarse voice. You fall in love instantly. Had my GPS such a voice, I would make a lot of mileage on my car.

Conclusion: A great movie. A compelling film. A film that touched me. A film about the relationship between a man and a piece of software. But also a warning for the evolution towards a lonely society which threatens to dilute the real deep human contacts. A must-see movie anyway! This is a beautiful description I found on a website called "Rutger in de filmclub". I couldn't resist to quote it: "Her" is totally implausible if you can't surrender to the movie. If you do that, you just get lost in this dreamy world of Jonze, which combines subtle sci-fi with an old-fashioned atmosphere. When you believe in Samantha, you will naturally begin to see this OS as a woman. Scarlett Johansson's voice is enough to melt a man's heart. Try not to fall in love. You lose.
3 years 10 months ago
Ninjagodzilla's avatar

Ninjagodzilla

Watch the Black Mirror episode "Be Right Back" from the UK television show Black Mirror. Interesting to compare and contrast (ultimately BRB is much better).
6 years 10 months ago
Armoreska's avatar

Armoreska

Sounds like an adaptation of that Kate Bush song/video, Deeper Understanding
6 years 10 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

Her was a film about many things, but its main theme, to me, was loneliness. A very modern kind of loneliness. Everyone connected through social media, and yet alone in front of screens both large and small. On the surface of it, the main character falling in love with an artificial intelligence is science fiction, but how much does their relationship differ to those of people who meet and fall in love on the Internet? People who used to be text and possibly voices, and who relatively recently might have a moving image on screen. Spike Jonze's new film uses this sweet and complex relationship to explore emotional surrogacy. How are feelings impacted by medium they're transmitted through? Are they still real if an intermediate is required? At its core, this is a relationship story, regardless of its sci-fi tropes. Only towards the end do the ramifications of the technology take center stage, nevertheless without taking the focus away from the two lovers. A wonderfully touching film, incredibly contemporary, beautifully shot and sensitively acted. I kind of fell for the Operating System too (and couldn't place the voice, no spoilery distractions for me thanks to accidental avoidance of movie poster or Internet information).
5 years 5 months ago
george4mon's avatar

george4mon

best film of 2013!
6 years 10 months ago
thefilmstage's avatar

thefilmstage

A wonderfully strange, touching look at false intimacy and, possibly, our future. Phoenix is great and it's quite amazing how Jonze sells both the world and and the relationship at the center. The Mara flashbacks are great, too.
7 years 1 month ago

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