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The biggest achievement of Her is that it makes you feel sorry for a guy who has dated Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, and Scarlett Johansson's voice.
In less skilled hands, "Her" would be a mess of dry, emotional philosophy. What sets the film apart is Jonze's ability to drag us so willingly into this relationship between a man and his OS without being dry philosophy. It is a comforting place to be, inside this relationship. Jonze, Johansson and Joaquin (all of whom are deserving of awards) manage to pull us in like a warm embrace, and, in doing so, show us the realities of human relationships through a very inhuman relationship. The film is incredibly emotionally savvy with all the characters displaying an emotional closeness unusual for a mainstream film. It is through Samantha, the OS, that Jonze shows us how to achieve a similar level of emotional intimacy with others. The film never demonizes technology, but shows us how isolated and unattached it has made us. To paraphrase one line from the film that can serve as a résumé: "Get out of your head, and be with me".
There is much joy, love, and some lust here, but also pain, sadness. Such are modern relationships – full of doubt, pain and regret, but we keep reaching to others because we all need that intimacy. The questions "Her" raises are: "Are we okay with getting this intimacy without real human interaction?" and, if so, "How real can a relationship that takes place in your head be?".
Original, intelligent, moving and involving. "Her" is fantastic.
4 stars out of 4
All other praises aside (and there are plenty), Jonze's 'Her' is a masterfully innovative story that covers themes of human existence far transcendent of any time or place.
Phoenix is remarkable, as is to be expected, and the world presented is one that rings perhaps a tad eerily too true for us technologically reliant folk.
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