Academy Award Best Picture Nominee: Her

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 21.24.52

Rated: 18, 126 mins

Director: Spike Jonze

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson 

It’s been a weekend since I watched this film, and yet I still don’t know if that’s enough time to fully digest it’s impact. I’ve not seen a film as raw and as beautiful as this, in it’s own strange way, since Blue Valentine. Just like that film, I was left at the end in a state of melancholia having entered into a bizarre and unique journey.

We join Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) in the midst of his divorce. It’s clear the film is slightly in the future, but not so far ahead as to seem too distant a reality, where people walk around conversing with the blue tooth devices in their ears as opposed to speaking with one another. When Theodore upgrades his OS system to Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) an unlikely relationship unfolds.

Theodore does attempt to go on one unsuccessful date during the film, but he finds his interactions with his OS, more satisfying than human contact. The relationship unfolds throughout the course of the film, as does his divorce with his wife. Somehow you’re drawn into the situation, and Theodore’s happiness appears to eclipse his need for human contact and interaction as he proceeds to develop a fully fledged relationship with Samantha.

It’s a painfully raw account of one man’s loneliness in a technology driven world and Joaquin is frankly incredible. Interesting concepts arise around the suggestions of surrogates for the OS systems and there’s occasionally uncomfortable scenes dotted amidst this strange love. I think it’s a shame Scarlett Johansson won’t receive a nomination for her portrayal of Samantha in the film (she has been unable to qualify for a nomination due to never appearing on screen) but the power and force her character creates without a physical entity, through the pure craft of her voice, definitely deserves recognition.

So far, this picture definitely wins my vote. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen and touches on an issue that could become close to home soon. It’s a fascinating take on the technology we’ve built around us and how it could start to weave itself into our emotional intricacies.

Go take a look, it’s well worth it.


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