With only a hint of a futuristic setting, Spike Jonze takes a remarkably honest look at human emotions as a man and his computer's intelligent operating system fall madly in love with each other. Utterly grounded in believable characters and situations, this is a boldly inventive exploration of how we connect with each other. It's also one of the most involving, witty and evocative movies of the year.
It's set just a few years into the future, when we've essentially done away with keyboards and talk to our phones and computers. So Theodore (Phoenix) works in a company that writes letters for people who want a more tactile way of communicating. While trying not to let his recent divorce from Caroline (Mara) influence his work, his friends (Adams and Letscher) set him up on a blind date with a sexy woman (Wilde). But he's not quite ready to move on until he begins opening up to his new interactive operative system, which calls herself Samantha (voiced by Johansson). And she has such an open-hearted personality that Theodore can't help but fall for her.
The film has a breezy, fable-like tone that allows heavy themes to emerge without weighing us down. Indeed, the central idea is that relationships are difficult because we can't help but evolve individually, which sometimes means drifting apart. Obviously, this has huge ramifications when your partner is a limitless computer mind that will never stop expanding. But Theodore doesn't want to think about this; he is frightened by the idea that Samantha is changing. Yes, despite the vaguely surreal premise, the film is packed with things we readily identify with.
Continue reading: Her Review
'Don Jon' actress Scarlett Johansson is seen talking to the press as she hits the red carpet the Rome International Film Festival premiere of her new movie 'Her', in which she plays the voice of an advanced computer operating system.
'The Master' star Joaquin Phoenix and 'The Avengers' star Scarlett Johansson pose together on the red carpet at the Rome International Film Festival premiere of their new film 'Her'. They are then joined by co-star Rooney Mara, director and writer Spike Jonze and producers Megan Ellison and Vincent Landay.
Max (Records) is a mischievous, imaginative pre-teen with a dismissive big sister (Emmerichs) and an understanding mum (Keener). But a series of events get him thinking about the fragility of life, so he takes a flight of fantasy to a distant island populated by furry creatures who at first threaten to eat him but then adopt him as their king. Playful games ensue, as he leads them in the construction of a giant fortress. But even here, relationships become tricky to navigate.
Continue reading: Where the Wild Things Are Review
Thus spake Adaptation. Starting out with fake (or real?) behind-the-scenes footage of Malkovich, taking detours to the dawn of life on earth and story mogul Robert McKee's screenwriting class, Darwin's lab, Orlean's book (with Chris Cooper playing the swamp rat/scientist/orchid thief himself), voice-overs, and flashbacks, Adaptation finds inventive convolutions that might make it seem more esoteric than it really is.
Continue reading: Adaptation Review
The centerpiece of Being John Malkovich, in case you haven't guessed, is a portal, which provides the unique opportunity to "be John Malkovich." As one character, when approached with the chance, exuberantly improvises, "Great! That was my second choice." Which leads us right back where we started. Why John Malkovich?
Continue reading: Being John Malkovich Review
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