Movie #350 2020: Her (2013)

Her has been on my watch list for so long… and I finally got round to it! Maybe 2020 isn’t so bad after all.

Spike Jonze directs in this futuristic tale about human connection, and indeed, how we may connect differently in the not too distant future. With Joaquin Phoenix as the lead, his character of Theo is a troubled soul, who is going through a divorce with his now ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara). In an attempt to find some meaning to his life, he purchases some voice controlled software, not dissimilar to an Alexa or a Google Home device. What he doesn’t expect, however, is to develop such an intimate relationship with the ‘woman’ who voices his AI.

I have to get this out of the way first… Did Spike Jonze invent EarPods? Apple have him to thank for a lot by the looks of it. But I digress.

Such great casting. Joaquin Phoenix is that perfect mix of weirdly handsome and believably single. Scarlet Johansson has that raspy, distinctive voice that really helps you feel invested in a character that doesn’t even have a face. Plus, Amy Adams. And Olivia Wilde. Phenomenal acting from everyone concerned, and some masterful ensemble assembly on behalf of the director.

Muted colour palettes with perfectly placed reds and oranges give this film such a unique aesthetic making the whole thing feel like a hipster photo shoot. (That’s not a dig – I mean that in the best way possible.) Truly lovely to look at, with something interesting to draw your eye in every single shot.

Person of Interest is my second favourite TV show of all time (bear with me here), so naturally I’m obsessed with anything to do with artificial intelligence. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something really interesting and thought-provoking about someone falling in love with an AI. I have no idea how Jonze came up with it, but it’s so strangely gripping for such a simple narrative. Plus it really helps that the science fiction elements are never hokey or over-stated; this could absolutely happen in the real world one day.

Her is a movie that treads the line of hedonism very finely, but manages to be quite beautiful. Though it’s not quite the masterpiece many reviews lead me to believe, it’s original, beautiful, and has a brilliant set of performances within it that certainly helps one to understand why it is revered by so many.

Either way, I’m glad I finally got to see it.

Her is available to rent on Amazon and the Google Play Store for £2.49 in the UK.

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