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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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Her 
Review: Her
4/4 stars

Spike Jonze's new film, Her, is a fabulously acted, beautifully shot and directed film that resonates with its audience once Joaquin Phoenix's Theodore first meets Her. Jonze overlays an engaging, sometimes wrenching love story on a theme that expresses some real truth regarding today's use of technology and social media. It's a brilliant film, a strong and passionate winner, and one of 2013's best.

There's more than enough of Jonze's typical quirkiness and humor, but what won me over was the realism and complexity of the completely unrealistic relationship. Here we have a lonely, utterly hopeless and depressed man, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), who after going through a horrible break-up, falls in love with a computer operation system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johasson). Spike Jonze's flawless script features hilariously engaging dialogue and well developed characters, while also nailing the message he wants to get across. There's never a dull moment to be found in a film full of warmth and subtlety - executed nicely through the outstanding performances, compelling dialogue, and the impeccable cinematography.

Joaquin Phoenix is great as Theodore, exuding calmness and warmth to the screen as a depressed man who is filled with sadness and sometimes anger on the inside. It's a subtle performance, but when he's given his moment to shine - he fucking shines. The star here, however, is Scarlett Johansson's voice as the operating system, Samantha. Johansson portrays this character convincingly - we begin to feel as if she's truly sitting next to Theodore as a living being. She provides plenty of laughs and establishes a compelling relationship between herself and Theodore. Walking out, I wanted my own personal operating system.

Many scenes that could have came off as strange and laughable actually resonates, which says something about Jonze's grip on the characterizations, the script, and the story at hand. This is a wonderful film, a beautiful and poetic romantic epic that outruns any piece-of-shit Nicholas Sparks adaptation that's ever seen the light of day.

4/4


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