The debut of Spike Jontz as screenwriter extradinaire has given me my favorite film of 2013. Oddly,it is a sci-fi romance, part satire, part sensitivity training and part metaphysical query. “Her” delivers a portrayal of such bittersweet longing that the score and the trailer still affect me. The film is emotionally wrenching, but with a smattering of oddball quirkiness for relief. I did not find this film “creepy”. The romantically rejected always have a place in my heart. Here the possibilities of cyber-love for Theodore Twombly are aural. He falls in love with a voice and an evolving artificial intelligence.
Professionally,Theodore writes personal letters for people who can not seem to do so. There is a shot where we see many cubicles with workers doing the same. This service is weirder than hiring a personal shopper for familial gift selections or asking a secretary to handle these obligations, but it may be the next emotionally numbing, futuristic step. Joaquin Phoenix is masterful in portraying the sensitive scrivener. I thought he deserved the Oscar for Best Actor. His delight and vulnerability were palpable. This film received five Oscar nominations and won Best Screenplay.
The musical score was composed by the Canadian band Arcade Fire. This music was so much apart of the emotionality of the film that “Her” would not be the same film without this score. And “The Moon Song” by Karen O has remained a favorite of mine for it draws on and underscores love’s need for trust and safety. You will find yourself humming “A Million Miles Away” after leaving cyber-space. Send any real cineasts here..to see “Her” for one of the most original art -house- quality films to date. Oh, and Scarlett Johansson’s voice is lovely.