Her (2013) is a quirky love story by Spike Jonze.
Theodore Twombly works as a letter writer for handwrittenletters.com. He has recently gone through a divorce and is struggling to find love. After a bizarre phone sex experience, Theodore hears about the new OS1 and decides to purchase it. He installs it and decides that it should be female. The new OS and he hit it off immediately. She names herself Samantha.
Now, to be fair, I'll start off with some potentially objectionable scenes. There are three awkward scenes. The first is a phone sex scene that gets really weird. The second is the infamous 'black scene.' Two people actually walked out during this scene when I saw it! I find this funny because it really is least offensive of the three. The final one is the most uncomfortable and also the most brilliant solution to Samantha lacking a body. It is a genuine surprise that I don't want to spoil though it isn't for everyone. Anyway, as with all the other films, the ensemble cast, even the minor roles of Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara, blends perfectly.
Theodore Twombly is a man who has difficulty relating to others. His life has fallen apart and he spends his time alone playing video games or surfing the net. Theodore may not be a likeable or relatable protagonist, but he is at least sympathetic. His journey is about coming out of his shell with the help of several women in his life. Joaquin Phoenix is remarkable in this role; he really captures the sad loner who spends much of his time alone.
Amy is a college friend of Theodore's whose marriage is not in the best shape. She also develops a relation ship with one of the AI, but it is a friendship rather than a romance.This mirrors her friendship with Theodore to some extent and really drives home how the AIs aren't all alike. Amy Adams delivers her second Man-of-Steel-redeeming performance of the year.
Samantha is Theodore's AI. For those who would like to simply discount her as a computer, I ask: "Have you seen the film?" Samantha is noteworthy for how real she acts. She has more character in her than most characters on screen nowadays. Scarlett Johansson proves that she's not just a pretty face!
The music by Arcade Fire fit so well with the retro future they're going for. Bottom line: Best Original Score. Speaking of retro future, the blend of apple sheik ans seventies fashion creates a surprisingly believable future. The kind of palpable future that I haven't seen since Gattaca. Thus, I'm also rooting for Best Production Design.
In the End
A bittersweet end to a bittersweet film.
The story deserves Best Original Screenplay. Her is a film that works on many levels. It could be about a lonely man talking to himself for three hour; an interpretation that many seem to take even though I find it the most boring. On another hand, he could actually be interacting with a real person without a body. This non-physical relationship, along with how Theodore and Sam deal with it, are the most interesting portions of the film. This film is classic sci-fi in its purest sense with technology completely impacting the film's world. See it if you long for a return to classic science fiction or want a great bittersweet romantic comedy(and can handle one of the lovers being a computer).
So, how'd I stack up?
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave [CORRECT!]
Best Supporting Actor:
Best Supporting Actress:
Best Makeup: Dallas Buyers Club [CORRECT!]
Best Original Score:
Best Production Design:
Best Visual Effects: Gravity [CORRECT, but... Gravity, again, really?]
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) [CORRECT!]
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (Her) [CORRECT!]
5/15: Not prescient yet!
Next Time: Post Oscar Snubs?