HerPoster, Lane J, Lubellwritten and Directed by Spike Jonze

Joaquin Phoenix … Theodore Twombly
Lynn Adrianna … Letter Writer #1
Lisa Renee Pitts … Letter Writer #2
Gabe Gomez … Letter Writer #3
Chris Pratt … Paul
Artt Butler … Text Voice (voice)
May Lindstrom … Sexy Pregnant TV Star
Rooney Mara … Catherine
Bill Hader … Chat Room Friend #2
Kristen Wiig … SexyKitten (voice)
Brian Johnson … OS1 Commercial Lead
Scarlett Johansson … Samantha (voice)
Amy Adams … Amy
Matt Letscher … Charles

A++ best film of the year.

Lane Lubell

Every once in a while, a movie comes a long that acts not as entertainment, but as a critique on society and asks larger questions. In HER Jones asks what does it mean to be human and if a machine can learn, love and grow, then has that machine transcended that boundary.
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix)is a man haunted by the loss of his one great love affair, as we are shown flash-backs of their happy times finally a distance opens between them leading to the separation and yet to be signed divorce. Theodore has the most unusual profession of writing other peoples love letters. He has a few close friends and but spends much of his free time playing the near-future’s version of video games.

Passing by an advertisement he in enticed to purchase the new OS1,a computer program that finally truly meets the “Turing test” the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system. Theodore turns on the OS1 and is met by a sexy voice who, in a faction of a second selects the name Samantha. Scarlett Johansson (Samantha)  is never seen, but it is her voice that we fall in love with as does Theodore. In the hands of a lesser writer and director, a man falling in love with an operating system with female voice would come-off as silly or pathetic, but Spike Joneze creates Samantha as a fully fleshed-out character (just without the flesh). She aspires to understand the world of Theodore and her place in it, but then grows beyond the confines of his world. Joneze makes it clear that this is not some guy with an irrational fetish for a machine, but that Samantha is also very much in love.  The true challenge to their relationship is not her lack of a physical body, but his inability to keep pace with her exponential growth in intelligence.

Joaquin Phoenix pulls this difficult part off brilliantly, and  Scarlett Johansson brings Samantha to life, creating one of the most likable personalities in any film this year, all without being seen. I respect Joneze for resisting the temptation to show  Samantha as an image on a screen, or a hologram; particularity in light of the reality that he had one of the most beautiful and famous women in Hollywood on his set.

I am happy and proud to endorse “Her” as the best picture of the year. I laughed and smiled at the one of the most genuine relationships I have ever seen in film and cried at its close. I can only say “thank you” to Spike Jonze.

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