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Her (2013) bad movie
USA, 126 min, Rated 14A (ON) G (QC)
Reviewed 01/14, © Stephen Bourne
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Spike Jonze - Director/Screenplay
Hoyte Van Hoytema - Cinematography


"'Set in the Los Angeles of the slight future, 'Her' follows Theodore Twombly, a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user." - herthemovie.com


Joaquin Phoenix stars as divorce-gutted, professional Los Angeles personal letter writer Theodore Twombly in what feels a lot like writer/director Spike Jonze's low key sci-fi riff on the Pygmalion myth of ancient Greece. Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with his ivory statue come-to-life, Galatea. Here, hopeless romantic loner Twombly upgrades his personal computer's operating system to the world's first artificially intelligent version: OS1. A personably human confidant, his OS1 immediately decides to call itself Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and enamoured Twombly's relationship status soon shifts from Dumped & Mopey, to, well, It's Complicated, Dude.

Jonze previously directed the movies Where the Wild Things Are (2009), Adaptation. (2002), and the oddball cult fave Being John Malkovich (1999). Her marks Jonze's first solo crack at screenwriting. Joining the crew is cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, probably best known to hard core cinephiles for his camerawork on the Swedish tween vampire flick, Let the Right One In (2008). It was remade in the US as Let Me In (2010), starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz. Van Hoytema was also Director of Photography on the Brit thriller, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

Admittedly, I had a bad feeling about Her while writing its Movie Pressbook Review days before this film's opening weekend (read it at Hubpages). Not-so much because it clearly wasn't a typical science fiction story. I wasn't expecting Samantha to go bonkers, dispatching killer robots through a time portal to sabotage Twombly's wedding day - and maybe stop the last couple of Transformers movies from being made. No. Delightful robot mayhem didn't appear to be an option with this one. The trailer merely gave the impression Her was a promising character study fueled by Phoenix's amazing talent as a leading man, but that the feature itself was probably a boring, self-indulgent big screen novelty over-all. I screened it anyway. And yeah, I was right. No-wonder the critics loved it... (Read more)

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