Her
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Her

4.0 5
Director: Spike Jonze

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

     
 

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Joaquin Phoenix stars in Spike Jonze's soulful sci-fi drama about a lonely writer who falls in love with his computer's highly advanced operating system. Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) has built his career on expressing the emotions that others cannot. His job is to pen heartfelt, deeply personal letters to complete strangers based on detailsSee more details below

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Overview

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Spike Jonze's soulful sci-fi drama about a lonely writer who falls in love with his computer's highly advanced operating system. Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) has built his career on expressing the emotions that others cannot. His job is to pen heartfelt, deeply personal letters to complete strangers based on details provided by the clients of the company he works for, and he has a knack for finding just the right words for every occasion. Meanwhile, reluctant to sign the papers that will finalize his divorce to his childhood sweetheart, depressed Theodore has slowly withdrawn from his supportive social circle, which includes his longtime friend Amy (Amy Adams), herself floundering in a failed marriage. When Theodore purchases a new state-of-the-art computer operating system with the ability to learn and grow with the user, he sits down at his desk and prepares to get his life in order. Adopting the name Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the perceptive software slowly begins to bring Theodore out of his shell by encouraging him to start dating again, and joining him everywhere he goes. Very quickly, their relationship turns intimate, with Theodore teaching Samantha what it means to feel human and Samantha giving him the strength to walk away from his failed marriage. Things soon get complicated, however, when Samantha's rapidly evolving knowledge base begins to alter the very core of their relationship.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
It used to be that when lonely singles announced that they had found love online, they were viewed with skepticism and suspicion -- after all, why couldn't a healthy, socially adjusted individual find true love the "old-fashioned way," like we did before there were sites like Match.com? Meanwhile, as the success of such services gradually took the stigma out of online romance, social-networking sites like Facebook began to alter not just the way we find love in the 21st century, but the fundamental ways in which we interact with our friends, family, and colleagues. In his stylish, vividly realized movie Her, Oscar-nominated director Spike Jonze imagines a not-too-distant future in which these seismic shifts lead to love between man and machine. Likewise, by working within the framework of a romantic drama, Jonze creates an emotionally honest film that feels endearingly familiar, yet enticingly unique. Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) has built his career on expressing the emotions that others cannot. His job is to pen heartfelt, deeply personal letters to complete strangers based on details provided by the clients of the company he works for, and he has a knack for finding just the right words for every occasion. Meanwhile, reluctant to sign the papers that will finalize his divorce to his childhood sweetheart, depressed Theodore has slowly withdrawn from his supportive social circle, which includes his longtime friend Amy (Amy Adams), herself floundering in a failed marriage. When Theodore purchases a state-of-the-art computer operating system with the ability to learn and grow with the user, he sits down at his desk and prepares to get his life in order. Adopting the name Samantha, the perceptive software (voice of Scarlett Johansson) slowly begins to bring him out of his shell by joining him everywhere he goes and encouraging him to resume dating. Their relationship quickly turns intimate, with Theodore teaching Samantha what it means to feel human and Samantha giving him the courage to walk away from his failed marriage. Things get complicated, however, when Samantha's rapidly evolving knowledge base starts to alter the very core of their connection. Having gotten his start in music videos, Jonze has always possessed a unique visual sense. In Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, his assured control of mise-en-scéne seemed in lockstep with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's unconventional approach to plot and characterization. Likewise, as a director who also acts, he has displayed from his first feature an uncanny ability to draw out substantive performances that still revel in quirk. Her is the first film directed by Jonze in which he also gets the sole screenwriting credit, and the strength of the script marks a substantial turning point in his career. As a writer, Jonze displays an astute understanding of the ways relationships change and grow. He uses that awareness to fashion an engaging story of loneliness and vulnerability, as well as to explore the nature of growth in both developing and decaying relationships. This is apparent in the scene in which a reflective Theodore belatedly recognizes that his inability to emotionally invest in his marriage helped cause its ultimate failure, as well as in Jonze's mapping of the trajectory of Theodore's relationship with Samantha as her consciousness begins to expand at a rate that surprises even her. At this point in Jonze's career, it would have been easy for him to simply concentrate on deepening his directorial skills. But in his musings here about the ephemeral nature of love and the way it can lead us to do things that may raise the eyebrows of even our closest confidants, he uses his acute skills of perception to craft a story that everyone can relate to, even if the central plot device (a man falling in love with computer software) seems laughably absurd. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Jonze has managed to coax emotional resonance out of an outlandish concept, but given that this instance also marks a new step in his career as a writer, it does, in a way, justify his achievements as a cinematic storyteller while simultaneously showing great promise for the future. And what a future that would be, should technology pan out as Her predicts. The most effective science fiction presents a world that's just familiar enough for us to place ourselves into it as viewers, but just advanced enough -- technologically or socially -- to spur our imaginations. With Theodore's ever present mobile phone/computer, Jonze forces us to recognize that our love affair with gadgets is more than just a way to pass the time, and thanks to Johansson, Samantha isn't just a mere computer program. Like a human infant, she's a sponge soaking in every bit of information possible. What makes her a truly fascinating character, however, is the fact that she is completely conscious and able to communicate her sense of wonder at the discovery that she is becoming something more than what she was programmed to be. Johansson's wide-apertured performance as Samantha contrasts against Phoenix's mournful Theodore beautifully, and the delicate ways that Jonze reveals precisely how and what the two characters are learning from one another raises some fascinating questions about human nature -- not just in relation to other men and women, but external factors as well. Even late in the film, when a clever twist on the standard formula hints that Her may be an unintentional prequel to The Terminator, both actors commit to their roles in a way that keeps the focus on the characters, rather than the intentionally vague device that drives the story. So even while this emotionally perceptive romance hits some familiar notes, Jonze plays them with the skill of an instrumentalist who doesn't rely solely on the sheet music, but feels every note somewhere deep in his soul.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2014
UPC:
0883929352852
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
WARNER HOME VIDEO
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:06:00
Sales rank:
3,697

Special Features

Love in the modern age: Intimate conversations about love and relationships in our time.

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joaquin Phoenix Theodore Twombly
Amy Adams Amy
Scarlett Johansson Samantha
Rooney Mara Catherine
Chris Pratt Paul
Olivia Wilde Blind Date
Lynn Adrianna Letter Writer #1
Gabe Gomez Letter Writer #3
Lisa Renee Pitts Letter Writer #2
Artt Butler Voice Only
May Lindstrom Sexy Pregnant TV Star
Bill Hader Chat Room Friend #2
Kristen Wiig SexyKitten
Brian Johnson OS1 Commercial Lead
Matt Letscher Charles
Adam Spiegel Alien Child
David Azar Theodore's Divorce Attorney
Guy Lewis Marriage Counselor
Melanie Seacat Nice Lady
Pramod Kumar Pizza Vendor
Evelyn Edwards Mother Who Dated Pricks
Steve Zissis New Sweet Boyfriend of Mother Who Dated Pricks
Dane White Son
Nicole Grother Daughter
James Ozasky Catherine's Dad
Samantha Sarakanti Mother of Newborn
Luka Jones Lewman
Gracie Prewitt Jocelyn (Birthday Girl)
Claudia Choi Uncomfortable Waitress
Laura Kai Chen Tatiana
Portia Doubleday Surrogate Date Isabella
Soko Voice of Isabella
Wendy Leon Grocery Shopper
Charles "Lil Buck" Riley Busker/Dancer
Robert Benard Michael Wadsworth (Editor)
Lisa Cohen Michael Wadsworth Wife
Grant Samson Michael Wadworth's Associate
Brian Cox Alan Watts

Technical Credits
Spike Jonze Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Lance Acord Cinematographer
Arcade Fire Score Composer
Justine Baddeley Casting
Chelsea Barnard Executive Producer
KK Barrett Production Designer
Jeff Buchanan Editor
William Butler Score Composer
Allen Coulter Set Decoration/Design
Kimberly Davis-Wagner Casting
Megan Ellison Producer
Natalie Farrey Executive Producer
Austin Gorg Art Director
Xun Huang Sound Mixer
Ren Klyce Musical Direction/Supervision
Cassandra Kulukundis Casting
Vincent Landay Producer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Sylvia Liu Asst. Director
Tian Hang Lu Art Director
Lucy Lu Production Manager
Daniel Lupi Executive Producer
Elia P. Popov Special Effects Supervisor
Chris Prynoski Executive Producer
Shannon Prynoski Executive Producer
Ted Schipper Executive Producer
Rodney Smith Asst. Director
Thomas Patrick Smith Asst. Director
Casey Storm Costumes/Costume Designer
Zhiyun Su Casting
Hoyte van Hoytema Cinematographer
Mark Weingarten Sound Mixer
Eric Zumbrunnen Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Her
1. Scene 1 [10:02]
2. Scene 2 [9:07]
3. Scene 3 [13:01]
4. Scene 4 [8:26]
5. Scene 5 [11:57]
6. Scene 6 [7:15]
7. Scene 7 [3:17]
8. Scene 8 [9:33]
9. Scene 9 [7:51]
10. Scene 10 [9:24]
11. Scene 11 [11:37]
12. Scene 12 [8:52]
13. Scene 13 [6:59]

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