Her is just kind of a great film in every conceivable way. Direction, acting, concept, message, you really name it and it’s featured amazingly in the film. Kind of the greatest concept where a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with a computer, for all intents and purposes, exploring what exactly are relationships nowadays and how has technology shaped our everyday life.
I mean it’s such an utterly bizarre and bafflingly concept at first, Joaquin Phoenix dating a computer. How stupid and dumb does that seem, that a person would be so idiotic to feel emotions towards a computer, a grouping of plastic and metal to feel some kind of emotions. It is as weird as it sounds, but Phoenix constantly makes it so insanely believable. I would often switch from thinking how dumb this concept is to totatlly understanding Phoenix’s real feelings for this “person”/computer. It’s quite the testament to Spike Jonze and Phoenix that they made this ludicrous idea (for now) totally believable and heartfelt.
I have no qualms about saying that behind Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix is the greatest actor of our generation. The work he consistently puts in is second-to-none, and his performance in The Master is literally one of the greatest pieces of acting I’ve seen in the last decade. Her is more subdued, but of course it’s a more intimate film with Phoenix playing it perfectly where we understand and sympathize with every emotion he puts forth.
How great is Spike Jonze, like come on! I’ve loved him since his skateboarding and “Jackass” days when he was feeding his immature side of things, but little did I know what he’d turn into. Again, using literally in it most literal sense, all his film are masterpieces in their own right. Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Where The Wild Things Are and now Her? I mean, c’mon, any director would be lucky to have one of these films in their filmography, but Jonze has all four. I love Jonze’s use of flashback to Phoenix’s previous “happy” life with his wife and how that informs and juxtaposes how he is now. It’s a beautiful selection, and how Jonze places it is utterly perfect. And, hey, Jonze wrote this shit as well, which I mean talk about auteurship.
As, well, we’ve got the ‘ol technology aspect, where, hey, maybe this is all changing how we’ve done everything before. Can you truly feel love strictly through a phone, computer or mechanical device? Do you actually need to meet or see so-and-so to form a romantic connection. Her addresses all these questions, but doesn’t beat it over the head or demand a strict answer into being message film. It lays everything out, but doesn’t really ever come down hard on either side, each has their merits if you yourself feel so inclined one way, and you’re not looked at as an idiot if you do so.