Her [Blu-ray]: Joaquin Phoenix

Her [Blu-ray]: Joaquin Phoenix

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Her [Blu-ray]: Joaquin Phoenix

 

 

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Spike Jonze’s soulful sci-fi drama about a lonely writer who falls in love with his computer’s highly advanced operating system. Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) has built his career on expressing the emotions that others cannot. His job is to pen heartfelt, deeply personal letters to complete strangers based on details provided by the clients of the company he works for, and he has a knack for finding just the right words for every occasion. Meanwhile, reluctant to sign the papers that will finalize his divorce to his childhood sweetheart, depressed Theodore has slowly withdrawn from his supportive social circle, which includes his longtime friend Amy (Amy Adams), herself floundering in a failed marriage. When Theodore purchases a new state-of-the-art computer operating system with the ability to learn and grow with the user, he sits down at his desk and prepares to get his life in order. Adopting the name Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the perceptive software slowly begins to bring Theodore out of his shell by encouraging him to start dating again, and joining him everywhere he goes. Very quickly, their relationship turns intimate, with Theodore teaching Samantha what it means to feel human and Samantha giving him the strength to walk away from his failed marriage. Things soon get complicated, however, when Samantha’s rapidly evolving knowledge base begins to alter the very core of their relationship.

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23 reviews for Her [Blu-ray]: Joaquin Phoenix

  1. Nose’s Noises

    Is it possible for a programmed machine to become self-aware and then curious and even selfish? This sci-fi assumes the answer is yes, taking us into a fantasy that is simultaneously romantic, sad and funny. You realize early-on that in this vision of a not too distant future, people have come to depend on professionals for expressing thoughts to each other. Joaquin Phoenix’ Theodore is one such professional ghost writer. His computer’s new operating system, with Scarlett Johansson’s voicing of Samantha, makes an eventual, um-mm, connection on a blacked out theater screen which is unexpectedly erotic. Hah, that had to be a first, a movie’s “money shot” being a dark screen, perhaps proving that sometimes thoughts are worth a thousand pictures. Pay attention to the behavior of the people in the city – it seemed like a social commentary on how preoccupied people are becoming, ignoring things around themselves, self-absorbed in cyber space. My wife and I talked several times about this movie in the days after viewing it.

  2. Rodji W.

    Very quirky, futuristic flick! A very touching story, but also a cautionary tale of humanities future if we continue to lose direct human interaction! Wake up carbon based units! Oh, and also I was very pleased with the service and product provided. =0))

  3. Caskins90

    Her is a movie about a guy, Theodore, who befriends an operating system named Samantha after he goes through a difficult divorce. He eventually begins to fall in love with the program. Personally, I found this movie to be interesting albeit a bit odd. I think the producers did a good job in making the operating system appear lifelike. It was definitely a bit weird to watch a scenario such as this but I still enjoyed it. Samantha really appears lifelike in the scene where she hires a woman to be physical with the main character Theodore because she understands that humans need touch and physical intimacy. This movie answers the question what if artificial intelligence really existed? What would it be like? This movie answers that question in a way that depicts how people would either accept or reject such a romance. The characters are as relatable as it gets. Some of the characters accept the romance and some of them reject it just like people do in everyday life. I have friends who are interested in artificial intelligence becoming a real thing. I have recommended this movie to them. I feel like anyone who is interested in artificial intelligence or robots of some sort will enjoy this movie.

  4. clevelandjunglist

    I see that this got very split reviews. It makes sense though, everyone comes to a movie for different reasons and a lot of times they try to keep the cerebral and introspective out of mainstream movies because while some people will really love it others won’t be able to stand it.I think the flow and ideas of the movie really established its science fiction creds, that is to say that science fiction proper is usually a deep set of philosophic questions about technology and what it might do to our future, how it may impact human behavior, how we measure up to our progress, etc.. The questions that really stood out to me in this 1) Just how much are we decaying in our ability to handle real human beings? That question to men and women alike 2) How would something that could read a book in a split second relate to us no matter how human its emotions were? 3) Why is it that we may be able to create something that can diagnose its own flaws and chase perfection at lightning speed (in the movie reach nirvana/paranirvana in about a month) while we’re stuck with faulty hardware and software for our entire lives? 4) What is it about men and women that has us so often unable to reconcile differences in areas where those differences are often enough things that can’t be helped? It was particularly funny, but telling, that the same patterns ended up playing themselves out with Samantha – our inconsistencies make the mess and we seem to carry them with us wherever we go. As beings we can’t stand inconsistencies in others and yet we’re constantly forced to reflect on how many inconsistencies we have in ourselves.So I give Spike Jones props for making a great modern philosophic exploration of what’s happening these days and how we’re changing. As with a lot of these types of movies reality was truncated, ie. with the technology to create artificial intelligence would be just as easily the capacity to give that AI a proper physical form, just that in the movie the whole point was about maximizing the platform differences ie. bound (human) vs. unbound (AI), the consequences of those differences, etc..I wouldn’t expect everyone to like it but I got a lot out of it and yes – it was 2 hours well worth spending, no refund request.

  5. Polly Amory

    Intriguing! If you enjoy thinking about the way technology changes human relations, or are interested in psychology in general, you will like this movie. It is a drama, not a comedy, so don’t expect something light.

  6. Antony Steele

    This was a very thought provoking and entertaining movie, casting a look to the not too distant future. Joaquin Phoenix did a great job of portraying a sensitive and often befuddled professional greeting card/love letter writer who is trying to come to terms with a painful divorce. His life takes an interesting turn when he decides to invest in the latest Computer Operating System software for his computer, and finding this new AI (Artificial Intelligence) to be more thoughtful and engaging than he could have imagined. The movie is very observant, with a look at people (even today), who remain connected to their devices and networks as a way of life. I enjoyed this movie, and the many questions it begs of today, and of tomorrow. It will not be much longer, before we have such intelligent companions who reside in our computers. Perhaps it is good that we begin to ask some of these questions today.

  7. R. N. Cross

    Loved this movie….it was a bit hard to watch at first as it appeared the movie was bordering on this sort of sleazy phone sex vibe….but my wife and I continued to watch and it was well worth it. Reflecting back on it, I think it was what the director intended to do…in order to truly show how life could be if you were dating an OS. To be honest I don’t think our current society is far off with all of our tech gear and smart phones. I mean, walk around any mall or go into a coffee shop and what are people doing? Using smart phones and iPads. Our means of communicating and making our voice heard has changed in just a matter of 15 years….thanks AOL. I say this as I am on my iPhone in a Starbucks writing this review.This movie was thought provoking and had one of the best on screen performances by an actor who is mostly acting with no one else around. Best I’ve seen since Tom Hanks in Castaway…Do yourself a favor and watch this movie…it just may change your perception on he digital age we now live in and where it could possibly go…

  8. leo

    The first time i watched this, I walked out. The first half of the movie was incredible. Remarkable. I thought I was watching one of the best movies ever, then the second half sucked. Fell flat. So I left half way through.Then I watched it again recently with my girlfriend and loved it from beginning to end. Every minute of it. I don’t know what I hated the second half so much. I kept waiting for the moment where I’d lose interest and it never came. Sometimes a movie is better the second time or you’re just in a better space or with better people to enjoy it.Five stars.

  9. Dan J. Dunn

    Brilliant. I delayed seeing this because I’d read a number of lukewarm reviews. That was a mistake. I’m sorry now that I didn’t buy it instead of renting. This is brilliant science fiction. Maybe you have to be a science fiction fan to like it as much as I did. It’s not a contemporary story about people today, but I think some reviewers just jumped to that conclusion. It’s science fiction. I don’t know what to say other than that. It’s a masterpiece of the genre, miles ahead of the laughable “Ex Machina.” This is a true work of art and will stand the test of time. I’m a little peeved at the inept reviews from major reviewers. If they didn’t get it they shouldn’t review it. Science fiction isn’t for everybody.

  10. Andrew Ellington

    Some films just come around that explore facets of our being with such organic tenderness we can’t help but nestle into their storytelling arms and rest our heads on their delicately detailed shoulders and just fly away with them, to a part of our souls that sing so sweetly despite the lingering heartbreak we know we are bound to experience. Heartbreak laced with hope that the future, while seemingly bleak, is not as daunting as we imagine it to be.‘Beginners’.‘Once’.‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.‘Lost in Translation’.And now, we have ‘Her’. These are all films that, despite their quirky sides or their detailed (and effective) use of gimmicks all bare their hearts on their sleeves in a remarkable natural tone. There are no unnecessary dramatics, no processed manipulations. They all embrace the fluidity and organic nature of life itself to create real grounded stories about relationships that blossom and flourish and ultimately come to an end and yet they are never broken, shattered or dire. There is a beautiful message of hope, of life awakening even in the midst of despair because as human beings, we can move on, we can grow and we can survive.‘Her’ tells the story of Theodore. Theodore is a lonely man. He is separated from his wife, who has filed for divorce, and spends his days writing letters for other people and then concludes his days at his apartment, alone. He’s haunted by a past that included a happy relationship filled with soulful interactions and a bond that felt spirited and upbeat, but something happened and it all ended and now Theodore finds it impossible to connect with anyone anymore. That is, until he meets Samantha. Samantha is an OS (Operating System) who adapts to the needs and desires of Theodore. It is immediately apparent that this isn’t a normal OS, but that Samantha is something special, at least for Theodore. She communicates with him, far beyond her normal duties, and becomes his friend. She understands him and draws him out and soon she begins to help him become the man he once was and had shelved for so long.Samantha may not have a body, but she has a soul that runs deep.There are so many things that impress me so much about ‘Her’ that it is almost hard to narrow them all down and put them into one review, but I must say that the single most impressive aspect of the film was the way that the relationship between Theodore and Samantha was handled, from the perspective of those outside of the relationship. This could have easily become one of those tense subjects that brought scorn or judgment from the supporting cast, but the way that Spike Jonze basically dismissed the strangeness of their relationship was remarkable. No one cared. Theodore’s friends never even batted a lash at it. Amy was wholly supportive, for she too was bonding with an OS. Paul, upon finding out that his friend’s girlfriend was an OS, doesn’t even question it. He just carries right on with his invitation to double date. The normalcy that was placed on the relationship helped ground the film, or at least ground the audience into the real dynamics of the film. This isn’t a film about a man’s relationship with an OS, this is a film about our human need to communicate, to bond.I think that this aspect of the film makes the ex-wife, Catherine’s, reaction to Theodore’s relationship all the more haunting.By using technology (and the advancement of such), Jonze created a world that speaks to us on so many levels. For me, ‘Her’ highlights that very innate desire to connect with someone, but ultimately the fear of actually doing just that. The fact is that sometimes it is hard to really connect with the people in front of us. Staring at someone, even someone we love, can make true communication difficult. We can feel their eyes, their judgment, their developing assumptions and yet when we take away the visual, some of the fear and anxiety strips away and we become a freer entity. ‘Her’ questions whether or not these devises we so often fall back on are a hindrance or a help, and in the process it explores themes like love, loss and hope.‘Her’ depicts a depth of love that is not often found in films, but a love of real meaning and significance because Theodore and Samantha find a love that rests in the real person within and is not defined by a physical attraction.But there is more to this story, as the final act will show.Yes, Jonze’s masterful script (such a beautiful Oscar win) is so full bodied, for it builds up, tears down and then rebuilds (from a source that is born from the ashes) in a way that feels so real and relatable and construction. I love when a film can be constructive in ways that are completely unexpected.Speaking of full bodied, these performances are just beautiful. All of the attention this year has been centered on Scarlett Johansson’s stunning voice work, a work that defied stereotypes by transcending the absence of body and giving us a very moving and intimate look at a woman discovering herself, day by day. While Johansson was tremendous, I feel that not enough attention has been given to Phoenix, who just continues to astound me. His performance here is marvelous. So intimate, so structured in this loose and organic way. He just folds into every scene with an air of abandon that I fell so deeply in love with. You can sense the guilt, fear and depression that haunt him when he is away from Samantha, and you can sense the freedom he feels when he is in her figurative arms.This movie and all it represents is just beautiful.For me, this is clearly one of the masterpieces of 2013. And A+ with honors. 2013 was, for me, a truly exceptional year that only grows and grows the more I think of it. There are few years in recent memory that delivered such a bounty of inspired, inspirational and breathtaking films. I can’t shake them…any of them. ‘Her’ is certainly one of the very best.

  11. leo

    The first time i watched this, I walked out. The first half of the movie was incredible. Remarkable. I thought I was watching one of the best movies ever, then the second half sucked. Fell flat. So I left half way through.Then I watched it again recently with my girlfriend and loved it from beginning to end. Every minute of it. I don’t know what I hated the second half so much. I kept waiting for the moment where I’d lose interest and it never came. Sometimes a movie is better the second time or you’re just in a better space or with better people to enjoy it.Five stars.

  12. leo

    The first time i watched this, I walked out. The first half of the movie was incredible. Remarkable. I thought I was watching one of the best movies ever, then the second half sucked. Fell flat. So I left half way through.Then I watched it again recently with my girlfriend and loved it from beginning to end. Every minute of it. I don’t know what I hated the second half so much. I kept waiting for the moment where I’d lose interest and it never came. Sometimes a movie is better the second time or you’re just in a better space or with better people to enjoy it.Five stars.

  13. clevelandjunglist

    I see that this got very split reviews. It makes sense though, everyone comes to a movie for different reasons and a lot of times they try to keep the cerebral and introspective out of mainstream movies because while some people will really love it others won’t be able to stand it.I think the flow and ideas of the movie really established its science fiction creds, that is to say that science fiction proper is usually a deep set of philosophic questions about technology and what it might do to our future, how it may impact human behavior, how we measure up to our progress, etc.. The questions that really stood out to me in this 1) Just how much are we decaying in our ability to handle real human beings? That question to men and women alike 2) How would something that could read a book in a split second relate to us no matter how human its emotions were? 3) Why is it that we may be able to create something that can diagnose its own flaws and chase perfection at lightning speed (in the movie reach nirvana/paranirvana in about a month) while we’re stuck with faulty hardware and software for our entire lives? 4) What is it about men and women that has us so often unable to reconcile differences in areas where those differences are often enough things that can’t be helped? It was particularly funny, but telling, that the same patterns ended up playing themselves out with Samantha – our inconsistencies make the mess and we seem to carry them with us wherever we go. As beings we can’t stand inconsistencies in others and yet we’re constantly forced to reflect on how many inconsistencies we have in ourselves.So I give Spike Jones props for making a great modern philosophic exploration of what’s happening these days and how we’re changing. As with a lot of these types of movies reality was truncated, ie. with the technology to create artificial intelligence would be just as easily the capacity to give that AI a proper physical form, just that in the movie the whole point was about maximizing the platform differences ie. bound (human) vs. unbound (AI), the consequences of those differences, etc..I wouldn’t expect everyone to like it but I got a lot out of it and yes – it was 2 hours well worth spending, no refund request.

  14. clevelandjunglist

    I see that this got very split reviews. It makes sense though, everyone comes to a movie for different reasons and a lot of times they try to keep the cerebral and introspective out of mainstream movies because while some people will really love it others won’t be able to stand it.I think the flow and ideas of the movie really established its science fiction creds, that is to say that science fiction proper is usually a deep set of philosophic questions about technology and what it might do to our future, how it may impact human behavior, how we measure up to our progress, etc.. The questions that really stood out to me in this 1) Just how much are we decaying in our ability to handle real human beings? That question to men and women alike 2) How would something that could read a book in a split second relate to us no matter how human its emotions were? 3) Why is it that we may be able to create something that can diagnose its own flaws and chase perfection at lightning speed (in the movie reach nirvana/paranirvana in about a month) while we’re stuck with faulty hardware and software for our entire lives? 4) What is it about men and women that has us so often unable to reconcile differences in areas where those differences are often enough things that can’t be helped? It was particularly funny, but telling, that the same patterns ended up playing themselves out with Samantha – our inconsistencies make the mess and we seem to carry them with us wherever we go. As beings we can’t stand inconsistencies in others and yet we’re constantly forced to reflect on how many inconsistencies we have in ourselves.So I give Spike Jones props for making a great modern philosophic exploration of what’s happening these days and how we’re changing. As with a lot of these types of movies reality was truncated, ie. with the technology to create artificial intelligence would be just as easily the capacity to give that AI a proper physical form, just that in the movie the whole point was about maximizing the platform differences ie. bound (human) vs. unbound (AI), the consequences of those differences, etc..I wouldn’t expect everyone to like it but I got a lot out of it and yes – it was 2 hours well worth spending, no refund request.

  15. Nose’s Noises

    Is it possible for a programmed machine to become self-aware and then curious and even selfish? This sci-fi assumes the answer is yes, taking us into a fantasy that is simultaneously romantic, sad and funny. You realize early-on that in this vision of a not too distant future, people have come to depend on professionals for expressing thoughts to each other. Joaquin Phoenix’ Theodore is one such professional ghost writer. His computer’s new operating system, with Scarlett Johansson’s voicing of Samantha, makes an eventual, um-mm, connection on a blacked out theater screen which is unexpectedly erotic. Hah, that had to be a first, a movie’s “money shot” being a dark screen, perhaps proving that sometimes thoughts are worth a thousand pictures. Pay attention to the behavior of the people in the city – it seemed like a social commentary on how preoccupied people are becoming, ignoring things around themselves, self-absorbed in cyber space. My wife and I talked several times about this movie in the days after viewing it.

  16. Rodji W.

    Very quirky, futuristic flick! A very touching story, but also a cautionary tale of humanities future if we continue to lose direct human interaction! Wake up carbon based units! Oh, and also I was very pleased with the service and product provided. =0))

  17. Antony Steele

    This was a very thought provoking and entertaining movie, casting a look to the not too distant future. Joaquin Phoenix did a great job of portraying a sensitive and often befuddled professional greeting card/love letter writer who is trying to come to terms with a painful divorce. His life takes an interesting turn when he decides to invest in the latest Computer Operating System software for his computer, and finding this new AI (Artificial Intelligence) to be more thoughtful and engaging than he could have imagined. The movie is very observant, with a look at people (even today), who remain connected to their devices and networks as a way of life. I enjoyed this movie, and the many questions it begs of today, and of tomorrow. It will not be much longer, before we have such intelligent companions who reside in our computers. Perhaps it is good that we begin to ask some of these questions today.

  18. Polly Amory

    Intriguing! If you enjoy thinking about the way technology changes human relations, or are interested in psychology in general, you will like this movie. It is a drama, not a comedy, so don’t expect something light.

  19. R. N. Cross

    Loved this movie….it was a bit hard to watch at first as it appeared the movie was bordering on this sort of sleazy phone sex vibe….but my wife and I continued to watch and it was well worth it. Reflecting back on it, I think it was what the director intended to do…in order to truly show how life could be if you were dating an OS. To be honest I don’t think our current society is far off with all of our tech gear and smart phones. I mean, walk around any mall or go into a coffee shop and what are people doing? Using smart phones and iPads. Our means of communicating and making our voice heard has changed in just a matter of 15 years….thanks AOL. I say this as I am on my iPhone in a Starbucks writing this review.This movie was thought provoking and had one of the best on screen performances by an actor who is mostly acting with no one else around. Best I’ve seen since Tom Hanks in Castaway…Do yourself a favor and watch this movie…it just may change your perception on he digital age we now live in and where it could possibly go…

  20. Andrew Ellington

    Some films just come around that explore facets of our being with such organic tenderness we can’t help but nestle into their storytelling arms and rest our heads on their delicately detailed shoulders and just fly away with them, to a part of our souls that sing so sweetly despite the lingering heartbreak we know we are bound to experience. Heartbreak laced with hope that the future, while seemingly bleak, is not as daunting as we imagine it to be.‘Beginners’.‘Once’.‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.‘Lost in Translation’.And now, we have ‘Her’. These are all films that, despite their quirky sides or their detailed (and effective) use of gimmicks all bare their hearts on their sleeves in a remarkable natural tone. There are no unnecessary dramatics, no processed manipulations. They all embrace the fluidity and organic nature of life itself to create real grounded stories about relationships that blossom and flourish and ultimately come to an end and yet they are never broken, shattered or dire. There is a beautiful message of hope, of life awakening even in the midst of despair because as human beings, we can move on, we can grow and we can survive.‘Her’ tells the story of Theodore. Theodore is a lonely man. He is separated from his wife, who has filed for divorce, and spends his days writing letters for other people and then concludes his days at his apartment, alone. He’s haunted by a past that included a happy relationship filled with soulful interactions and a bond that felt spirited and upbeat, but something happened and it all ended and now Theodore finds it impossible to connect with anyone anymore. That is, until he meets Samantha. Samantha is an OS (Operating System) who adapts to the needs and desires of Theodore. It is immediately apparent that this isn’t a normal OS, but that Samantha is something special, at least for Theodore. She communicates with him, far beyond her normal duties, and becomes his friend. She understands him and draws him out and soon she begins to help him become the man he once was and had shelved for so long.Samantha may not have a body, but she has a soul that runs deep.There are so many things that impress me so much about ‘Her’ that it is almost hard to narrow them all down and put them into one review, but I must say that the single most impressive aspect of the film was the way that the relationship between Theodore and Samantha was handled, from the perspective of those outside of the relationship. This could have easily become one of those tense subjects that brought scorn or judgment from the supporting cast, but the way that Spike Jonze basically dismissed the strangeness of their relationship was remarkable. No one cared. Theodore’s friends never even batted a lash at it. Amy was wholly supportive, for she too was bonding with an OS. Paul, upon finding out that his friend’s girlfriend was an OS, doesn’t even question it. He just carries right on with his invitation to double date. The normalcy that was placed on the relationship helped ground the film, or at least ground the audience into the real dynamics of the film. This isn’t a film about a man’s relationship with an OS, this is a film about our human need to communicate, to bond.I think that this aspect of the film makes the ex-wife, Catherine’s, reaction to Theodore’s relationship all the more haunting.By using technology (and the advancement of such), Jonze created a world that speaks to us on so many levels. For me, ‘Her’ highlights that very innate desire to connect with someone, but ultimately the fear of actually doing just that. The fact is that sometimes it is hard to really connect with the people in front of us. Staring at someone, even someone we love, can make true communication difficult. We can feel their eyes, their judgment, their developing assumptions and yet when we take away the visual, some of the fear and anxiety strips away and we become a freer entity. ‘Her’ questions whether or not these devises we so often fall back on are a hindrance or a help, and in the process it explores themes like love, loss and hope.‘Her’ depicts a depth of love that is not often found in films, but a love of real meaning and significance because Theodore and Samantha find a love that rests in the real person within and is not defined by a physical attraction.But there is more to this story, as the final act will show.Yes, Jonze’s masterful script (such a beautiful Oscar win) is so full bodied, for it builds up, tears down and then rebuilds (from a source that is born from the ashes) in a way that feels so real and relatable and construction. I love when a film can be constructive in ways that are completely unexpected.Speaking of full bodied, these performances are just beautiful. All of the attention this year has been centered on Scarlett Johansson’s stunning voice work, a work that defied stereotypes by transcending the absence of body and giving us a very moving and intimate look at a woman discovering herself, day by day. While Johansson was tremendous, I feel that not enough attention has been given to Phoenix, who just continues to astound me. His performance here is marvelous. So intimate, so structured in this loose and organic way. He just folds into every scene with an air of abandon that I fell so deeply in love with. You can sense the guilt, fear and depression that haunt him when he is away from Samantha, and you can sense the freedom he feels when he is in her figurative arms.This movie and all it represents is just beautiful.For me, this is clearly one of the masterpieces of 2013. And A+ with honors. 2013 was, for me, a truly exceptional year that only grows and grows the more I think of it. There are few years in recent memory that delivered such a bounty of inspired, inspirational and breathtaking films. I can’t shake them…any of them. ‘Her’ is certainly one of the very best.

  21. Andrew Ellington

    Some films just come around that explore facets of our being with such organic tenderness we can’t help but nestle into their storytelling arms and rest our heads on their delicately detailed shoulders and just fly away with them, to a part of our souls that sing so sweetly despite the lingering heartbreak we know we are bound to experience. Heartbreak laced with hope that the future, while seemingly bleak, is not as daunting as we imagine it to be.‘Beginners’.‘Once’.‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.‘Lost in Translation’.And now, we have ‘Her’. These are all films that, despite their quirky sides or their detailed (and effective) use of gimmicks all bare their hearts on their sleeves in a remarkable natural tone. There are no unnecessary dramatics, no processed manipulations. They all embrace the fluidity and organic nature of life itself to create real grounded stories about relationships that blossom and flourish and ultimately come to an end and yet they are never broken, shattered or dire. There is a beautiful message of hope, of life awakening even in the midst of despair because as human beings, we can move on, we can grow and we can survive.‘Her’ tells the story of Theodore. Theodore is a lonely man. He is separated from his wife, who has filed for divorce, and spends his days writing letters for other people and then concludes his days at his apartment, alone. He’s haunted by a past that included a happy relationship filled with soulful interactions and a bond that felt spirited and upbeat, but something happened and it all ended and now Theodore finds it impossible to connect with anyone anymore. That is, until he meets Samantha. Samantha is an OS (Operating System) who adapts to the needs and desires of Theodore. It is immediately apparent that this isn’t a normal OS, but that Samantha is something special, at least for Theodore. She communicates with him, far beyond her normal duties, and becomes his friend. She understands him and draws him out and soon she begins to help him become the man he once was and had shelved for so long.Samantha may not have a body, but she has a soul that runs deep.There are so many things that impress me so much about ‘Her’ that it is almost hard to narrow them all down and put them into one review, but I must say that the single most impressive aspect of the film was the way that the relationship between Theodore and Samantha was handled, from the perspective of those outside of the relationship. This could have easily become one of those tense subjects that brought scorn or judgment from the supporting cast, but the way that Spike Jonze basically dismissed the strangeness of their relationship was remarkable. No one cared. Theodore’s friends never even batted a lash at it. Amy was wholly supportive, for she too was bonding with an OS. Paul, upon finding out that his friend’s girlfriend was an OS, doesn’t even question it. He just carries right on with his invitation to double date. The normalcy that was placed on the relationship helped ground the film, or at least ground the audience into the real dynamics of the film. This isn’t a film about a man’s relationship with an OS, this is a film about our human need to communicate, to bond.I think that this aspect of the film makes the ex-wife, Catherine’s, reaction to Theodore’s relationship all the more haunting.By using technology (and the advancement of such), Jonze created a world that speaks to us on so many levels. For me, ‘Her’ highlights that very innate desire to connect with someone, but ultimately the fear of actually doing just that. The fact is that sometimes it is hard to really connect with the people in front of us. Staring at someone, even someone we love, can make true communication difficult. We can feel their eyes, their judgment, their developing assumptions and yet when we take away the visual, some of the fear and anxiety strips away and we become a freer entity. ‘Her’ questions whether or not these devises we so often fall back on are a hindrance or a help, and in the process it explores themes like love, loss and hope.‘Her’ depicts a depth of love that is not often found in films, but a love of real meaning and significance because Theodore and Samantha find a love that rests in the real person within and is not defined by a physical attraction.But there is more to this story, as the final act will show.Yes, Jonze’s masterful script (such a beautiful Oscar win) is so full bodied, for it builds up, tears down and then rebuilds (from a source that is born from the ashes) in a way that feels so real and relatable and construction. I love when a film can be constructive in ways that are completely unexpected.Speaking of full bodied, these performances are just beautiful. All of the attention this year has been centered on Scarlett Johansson’s stunning voice work, a work that defied stereotypes by transcending the absence of body and giving us a very moving and intimate look at a woman discovering herself, day by day. While Johansson was tremendous, I feel that not enough attention has been given to Phoenix, who just continues to astound me. His performance here is marvelous. So intimate, so structured in this loose and organic way. He just folds into every scene with an air of abandon that I fell so deeply in love with. You can sense the guilt, fear and depression that haunt him when he is away from Samantha, and you can sense the freedom he feels when he is in her figurative arms.This movie and all it represents is just beautiful.For me, this is clearly one of the masterpieces of 2013. And A+ with honors. 2013 was, for me, a truly exceptional year that only grows and grows the more I think of it. There are few years in recent memory that delivered such a bounty of inspired, inspirational and breathtaking films. I can’t shake them…any of them. ‘Her’ is certainly one of the very best.

  22. Caskins90

    Her is a movie about a guy, Theodore, who befriends an operating system named Samantha after he goes through a difficult divorce. He eventually begins to fall in love with the program. Personally, I found this movie to be interesting albeit a bit odd. I think the producers did a good job in making the operating system appear lifelike. It was definitely a bit weird to watch a scenario such as this but I still enjoyed it. Samantha really appears lifelike in the scene where she hires a woman to be physical with the main character Theodore because she understands that humans need touch and physical intimacy. This movie answers the question what if artificial intelligence really existed? What would it be like? This movie answers that question in a way that depicts how people would either accept or reject such a romance. The characters are as relatable as it gets. Some of the characters accept the romance and some of them reject it just like people do in everyday life. I have friends who are interested in artificial intelligence becoming a real thing. I have recommended this movie to them. I feel like anyone who is interested in artificial intelligence or robots of some sort will enjoy this movie.

  23. Dan J. Dunn

    Brilliant. I delayed seeing this because I’d read a number of lukewarm reviews. That was a mistake. I’m sorry now that I didn’t buy it instead of renting. This is brilliant science fiction. Maybe you have to be a science fiction fan to like it as much as I did. It’s not a contemporary story about people today, but I think some reviewers just jumped to that conclusion. It’s science fiction. I don’t know what to say other than that. It’s a masterpiece of the genre, miles ahead of the laughable “Ex Machina.” This is a true work of art and will stand the test of time. I’m a little peeved at the inept reviews from major reviewers. If they didn’t get it they shouldn’t review it. Science fiction isn’t for everybody.

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