Director: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 126 Minutes
Release Date: January 10, 2014 (USA)
Her is a movie filled with questions. With people talking on cell phones or texting as they drive and walk and eat in restaurants with friends, what is next? The movie begins with Joaquin Phoenix struggling to connect with women and failing in often very funny though also sad ways. He not only has no people skills, the women he meets also have no ability to relate. There are several very telling scenes where everyone walking down a street is talking to a device.
So it makes complete sense that a lonely man would purchase a device advertised to have a personality. The rest of the movie is the developing relationship between him and her along with her personal development. She doesn’t become human; she goes much further. The ending is logical and it leaves a trace of hope. One sees that he has learned how to relate to another being so maybe he will finally be able to connect with another human being. The ending is deliberately ambiguous, but satisfying. The whole movie definitely raises questions about our future relationships with both our computers and each other.
This is an interesting movie filled with ideas. Its screenplay won an Oscar for best original screenplay which it deserved. The movie was nominated for best picture which it did not deserve. Joaquin Phoenix was not nominated but he should have been. Scarlett Johansson as the voice does a marvelous job but there’s no category for her work. ~~ Reviewed by: Marian Powell