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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Jonze has written and directed a real intelligent piece of film I watched it yesterday with someone ...
Spike Jonze has written and directed a real intelligent piece of film
I watched it yesterday with someone who HATES watching any film, a science lover, but who thoroughly enjoyed the film.
It is basically like a social commentary on todays society, long distance relationships with people you've never met in the flesh kind of thing, but with the 'person' being an...
Published 2 months ago by Ness

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The use of Los Angeles and Shanghai backdrops made it visually striking and the cinematography was excellent. I was trying to th
This is set in some future dystopia where all the characters speak as if they are receiving therapy and express themselves in a introspective psychobabble which was self indulging. The use of Los Angeles and Shanghai backdrops made it visually striking and the cinematography was excellent.

I was trying to think of a film this reminded me of and it came to me...
Published 4 months ago by Jayshree Pillay


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Jonze has written and directed a real intelligent piece of film I watched it yesterday with someone ..., 8 Sep 2014
This review is from: Her (DVD)
Spike Jonze has written and directed a real intelligent piece of film
I watched it yesterday with someone who HATES watching any film, a science lover, but who thoroughly enjoyed the film.
It is basically like a social commentary on todays society, long distance relationships with people you've never met in the flesh kind of thing, but with the 'person' being an operating system on a computer/phone. Which, when you think about it, isn't in thw slightest bit different to any of the people you may see on 'Catfish' the tv show, also orchestrating relationships with 'virtual strangers'
I loved it, I love both Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johannson and think that they did a fantastic job in this, it can't have been easy at all acting with just yourself. (was it done that way? Did Joaquin film first with Scarlett's voice added in later, or vice versa?)
It's great, no action, no adventure, just a fly on the wall of this unique relationship, so don't expect big bangs or explosions :)
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aah, look at all the lonely people, 20 Mar 2014
By 
Bernardette Lugner (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Her [DVD] (DVD)
In a near-future mega-city, we meet Theodore Twombly and his acquaintances. They live in a sort of slackers' paradise where, in spite of their trivial occupations, they have lovely casual clothes, great cosmetic dentistry, and inhabit large, luxurious apartments. Joaquin Phoenix is totally believable as Twombly, whose little job is writing love letters for other people. Like the few people he knows face-to-face, he is most concerned about his "personal growth", and relationships are disposable when they no longer serve that selfish goal. He is unsettled by real contact, and we go with him on an incredibly hot blind date which is more than he can stand.

But when Twombly casually installs an artificial intelligence on his computer, he really falls in love with it - and it falls in love with him. Scarlett Johanssen as the AI, with her voice alone, is his lover, friend, and obsession. She learns how to interact most effectively with her human, and part of that turns out to make her even colder and more self-obsessed than the humans. There's a shock in store for Twombly and us.

Jonze conjures up a superficially beautiful way to live, then exposes the loneliness of it. This is a film that sucks you into its world if you will just relax and enjoy the quiet pace of the plot, the convincing acting and the occasional surprise.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Hertz, 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: Her [DVD] (DVD)
"Her" isn't untypical of any of Spike Jonze's other films. Usually he'll super-impose a regular, human kind of day to day existential angst (typical of Woody Allen's films) onto his characters whilst simultaneously creating the oddest of templates or scenarios to act as a jarring backdrops. We might be introduced to giant, furry, neurotic Jim Henson monsters as in "Where The Wild Things Are" or the lovesick robots of his 2010 short film "I'm Here" or even to the interior of John Malkovitch's consciousness and somehow we're expected to, and quite often do, relate and sympathise with these other-worldly characters.

"Her" follows a similar M.O. and has an equally bizarre plot. A lonely divorcee, Theodore, purchases a new operating system for his computers at home and work. The OS has a female voice. Almost immediately it begins to converse with him in a flirty and intuitive way. Theo begins to use the OS for not only practical applications but as a friend, a shoulder to cry on, as a means to be happy again. As Theo and the OS's interaction progresses he begins to view the OS, "Samantha" in a new light. The OS appears to possess warmth, depth, wit and sensuality. In time Theo begins to see "Samantha" not as an "it" or a machine, but as a "her", an entity with a soul, "someone" he might be able to love.

The film, although essentially whimsical in its synopsis, offers up some rather intriguing concepts, notions and questions: Can love exist purely in the mind? Is a computer capable of feeling? Has the Western World put too much emphasis on its infatuation with technology? Will we become ever more isolated from each other as humans as machines play a bigger part in our lives?

As far as selling points go in conjunction with these challenging multiple layers of themes there's also a very tender and delightful performance from Joaquin Phoenix at the centre of the film. His character is a hopeless, old-fashioned romantic. He's a man who clumsily and desperately reaches out wherever he can hoping to connect, to anyone, to anything, in order to feel again, to experience, to live spontaneously, to live anew. Ultimately "Her", for me, is an optimistic movie. It offers the possibility that as mankind's environment changes irreversibly, as traditional values are challenged in the digital age, love, in its many forms will still survive, as always, as an ethereal and magical force.

A thoughtful and charming movie. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy meets computer, 28 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Her [DVD] (DVD)
Set in the near future, Theodore is a lonely guy going through a divorce who writes letters for a living. He gets a new personal computer system that he calls Samantha and as he spends more time with Samantha he falls in love and is shocked when Samantha tells him she feels the same. Director Spike Jonze has made another strange and surreal masterpiece after Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where The Wild Things Are and is one of the most original directors working in Hollywood today. An excellent performance from Joaquin Pheonix as Theodore and excellent performances from Rooney Mara, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Samantha. This might possibly be the most original rom com of all time, a smart, funny and touching film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The use of Los Angeles and Shanghai backdrops made it visually striking and the cinematography was excellent. I was trying to th, 22 July 2014
This review is from: Her (DVD)
This is set in some future dystopia where all the characters speak as if they are receiving therapy and express themselves in a introspective psychobabble which was self indulging. The use of Los Angeles and Shanghai backdrops made it visually striking and the cinematography was excellent.

I was trying to think of a film this reminded me of and it came to me. Sleeper by Woody Allen. It is the world where Woody Allen's character finds himself are being reanimated after several centuries. I started to wonder if the endless self indulgence of the characters was designed to invoke humour rather than serious concern for them. Anyway it has a funny ending with the inanimate managing .....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eagerly awaited.... Thoroughgoingly enjoyed, and not just because Scarlett Johansson's voice is the sexiest sound one can hear., 6 July 2014
By 
D. MALTBY - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Her (DVD)
A controversial idea of what could define love and a relationship in a lonely futuristic world, that many fear we might already be heading towards. Simply a sublimely well crafted piece of storytelling, with directions I wasn't really expecting.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable and Consuming Cinema, 21 Jan 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Her [DVD] (DVD)
*This review is for the film*

Directed by Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich), 'Her' is a timely post-modern love story set in the not too distant future.

This is Jonze's first film written and directed completely from his own original script; and testament to his talent it is perhaps his best to date. The film is quite simply sumptuous in its entirety. But this is no single handed achievement for it also represents Joaquin Phoenix's (The Master, Walk the Line) most personal performance too. All set to a backdrop of vivid colour (Hoyte Van Hoytema, Cinematography) and delicate audio (Owen Pallett, Soundtrack).

Thematically the film is concerned with technology, specifically it's development and intrusion into our daily lives and habits. It can be said that (in a move that is already apparent in today's world) this technology is contradictorily disconnecting us from our actual lives culminating in isolation and loneliness. And yet our innate yearning for spiritual connection persists.

Intimately portrayed by Phoenix, 'Theodore' has made most of his journey already allowing the film to dedicate its time to his relationship with his new operating system, 'OS1', affectionately personified by Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation). This is "not just an operating system, it's a consciousness". It is Theodore's growing relationship with this operating system that is the subject matter for the film - the lack of bodily form is akin to a long-distance relationship - but its the adaptive intelligence of this operating system that takes this beyond a love story. Theodore's human friendship takes the form of Amy Adams (Catch Me If You Can, Man of Steel) who's onscreen bond can apparently be dedicated to Jonze's decision to lock Phoenix and herself in a room together for a couple of hours everyday.

Despite its potentially upsetting interpretations 'Her' organically floats along with surprising optimism, supported by Theodore's own disposition and it is not just Scarlet Johansson's inclusion that gives the film a 'Lost In Translation' ambience; you will find yourself taking a personal journey alongside Theodore high above the future Los Angeles skyline (actually filmed in Shanghai!...). This is an exploration beyond intimacy and love; Jonze will have you questioning your own spirituality and existence and perhaps eventual enlightenment?

Whilst these philosophical questions take a particularly sci-fi form 'Her' flirts with various genres - it will make you laugh and cry. And your personal experience will be heightened by the fact that this 'future' may not be as far in front as you initially perceive. Visually beautiful throughout and my favourite movie of this last year.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A commentary on the state of modern relationships, 25 Feb 2014
This review is from: Her [DVD] (DVD)
Theodore Twombly is lonely. This may as well be written in capital letters on the very first scene. He writes love letters for other people (the website he works for is called BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, perhaps poking playful fun at the way modern society commodifies EVERYTHING) but, as we are told through flashbacks, has lost his own wife because of his emotional distance. When we meet him, he is drifting through life, having phone sex with strangers (some VERY odd ones, too) and, as he puts it, struggling to prioritise between video games and internet porn. When he sees an add for OS1, a sentient operating system, it seems natural to purchase it; he's in search of a friend with no questions asked.

Theodore is a likeable protagonist from the off; something about his awkwardness will strike a chord with anybody who's ever felt like an outsider. There was stiff competition for the Oscars this year, but it's a real shame Phoenix didn't make the cut for Best Actor; his masterclass in subtlety really deserves the recognition. Despite the loosely sci-fi premise, he never overdoes it on the emotion, but that's not to say he's emotionless. Despite the relatively heavy questions being asked during the movie, he remains relatively light, delivering witty replies with ease and never being encumbered by the themes. But it takes two to tango, and Scarlett Johansson's rich, husky voice really helps her add personality to an incredibly challenging role; after all, most of acting is in the facial expressions, the gestures, the movements made, and she managed to deliver a memorable and moving performance using her voice alone. Theodore - and us, too, by proxy - know that Samantha is just a sophisticated piece of programming code, but we buy into the illusion as happily as he does.

Jonze delves into the idea that love is just "a socially acceptable form of insanity," as Amy Adams' character puts it. Some are freely accepting of Theodore's relationship with Samantha- Amy and his boorish work colleague barely bat an eyelid- but his ex-wife is horrified, putting it down to his inability to deal with 'real' feelings. But his dalliances with actual women with physical bodies always fall short of his easy banter with his OS- one woman, played by Olivia Wilde, freaks him out with the limitations she imposes on him, begging for commitment he cannot give to her.

This film isn't just a love story, it's an examination of relationships and what makes them tick. Can Theodore and Samantha find happiness when she doesn't have a body? Are her emotions 'real' or just a case of clever programming? All of these questions are fascinating to explore, and ever-more relevant in a society that texts their way through every day. Jonze's future world is tangibly close, which helps us root for Theodore and Samantha to make it. The result is both heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scarlett Johansson's best performance ever in a thoughtful hard sci-fi drama, 24 Aug 2014
By 
This review is from: Her [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Version: UK cinema release
Actors: 7/10
Plot/script: 8/10
Photography/visual style: 7/10
Music/score: 6/10
Overall: 8/10
I do like a good hard sci-fi. The term applies to a type of fiction that takes an idea from real science and explores it through a fictional narrative. In this case, the idea is of a romantic relationship between a sentient computer program and a human.
To my eye, the plot drew on elements covered in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, as well as some human evolutionary theory. It's not hard sci-fi in its original sense, as the mechanics of the AI is barely touched upon, but the question explored instead is what the effect of such a situation would be on the people involved.
That means the actors are crucial, and especially the central pair, who both have difficult tasks: as the human Theodore, Joaquin Phoenix's face is in practically every shot, especially since there is no physical paramour to cut away to. Much of the story is told entirely through the subtle facial expressions that convey his reactions to the voice he is hearing. Fortunately, Phoenix is rapidly becoming one of the most intense, immersive actors today (witness his performance in The Master) and more than capable of carrying this burden.
However, I was not expecting much from Scarlett Johansson as the sentient operating system, Samantha. I have not rated her past performances at all, and it seemed to me that she was a weak actress coasting on her looks. Well, that's all changed. Maybe it's age and experience, or maybe it's being forced not to rely on her physical attractiveness, but her voice is just perfect for this role. She has a hint of gravel in her voice, a slight imperfection that lends the 'artificial intelligence' humanity, until the moments come when we are jarringly reminded that she is not human. It turns out she can act, and act brilliantly. I will be hoping for that every time I see her from now on.
With the whole invested with writer/director Spike Jonze's trademark absurdism, it's a remarkably cerebral film, but with heart that comes from the authenticity of the performances. If only more science fiction films were like this.
For my full review, see my independent film blog on Blogspot, Cinema Inferno: http://cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/her-2013.html
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4.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and interesting - may contain spoilers, 27 July 2014
By 
This review is from: Her [DVD] (DVD)
I have to say quite an innovative movie. The premise of falling in love with the perfect operating system which is Artificial Intelligence and seeing how they interact with each other is quite unusual and at times a bit unsettling. Even though their interactions which take place through an earpiece for a greater part of the movie might put some people off, but you should give this film a go. It really makes you think about what true love is and how far people will go to find it, even if that means falling in love with a computer, it can be quite disconcerting at times to see how normal he thinks it all is, but deep down I think it really makes you realise how hard it is to find a perfect love - which is what he believes he has.

I won't say too much more as it would be too revealing to go in much depth. It's quite a thought provoking look into the way we interact with computers/other people and how technology will evolve in the future. It's a glimpse into the future to see what computers are capable of and how disconnected people can become with the enhancement of technology.

It can be slow at times, however I recommend making sure you watch to the end. One of the best films I've seen in a while even if I can't warm to the guy myself, it has even made me think about what I am looking for and what I need to do to find it.

Well worth a watch and a thoroughly recommended movie!
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Her [Blu-ray]
Her [Blu-ray] by Spike Jonze (Blu-ray - 2014)
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