Thomas Ringdal’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thank you, Spike Jonze. Thank you, Joaquin Phoenix. Thank you, Scarlett Johansson. Thank you, Amy Adams. Thank you, 2013. Most of all, thank you, Her.
I don't know excactly what I expected, I tried to go in knowing as little as possible, but I definitely didn't expect anything close to what I got.
With Her, Jonze has given this generation, and hopefully many more, the greatest romance of our time, with a spin that is handled with love and care even though it is also there to poke a bit of fun at our deminishing human interaction.
I was dead certain Richard Linklater had a firm grip on that honour, but for me, personally, this goes above and beyond the Before trilogy.
Joaquin Phoenix' Theodore is so relatable to me, it's scary, and from what I can gather I'm not alone, wich goes a long way to say that Jonze has written a protagonist for the 21st century male, picking up on small weaknesses and vulnerabilities in most of us. Then he's given the material to Phoenix who in return embraces it and portrays him in a flawless manner. A perfect combination.
Theodore is the reason this is such a success for me, perhaps, but everything about this film is what combined makes a masterpiece. The attention to details in this, somewhat alternative, universe, the magnificent cinematography and direction, the sweet, thoughtful, realistic, funny and poignant script with dialogue that not once rings false. The collaboration of Karen O and Arcade Fire resulting in such a beautitul soundtrack. The voice acting of Scarlett Johansson (not forgetting Jonze himself, or Kristen Wiig) that is so fantastic she manages to establish not only a fully fleshed out character just by speaking, it's also one of the finest supporting roles I've seen. Or, you know, heard.
It's hard to stay clear of spoilers, not only because I'm in love with this film, but because even an inkling of the relationship between Theodore and Samantha should be experienced with fresh eyes. I fear knowing a bit about the circumstances could result in a bit of bias towards them creeping in to one's subconsciousness, and it doesn't deserve that.
I'm glad Jonze decided to implement a bit of sci-fi into the mix, because it will help in disposing some of the prejudice that is otherwise inevitable, I think.
Letting the story unfold in an alternative universe, in a not too distant future, allows you to fully embrace it for what it is.
I just love the conversations in Her. Not only between Samantha and Theodore, but between Theodore and everybody, be it Paul (Chris Pratt), Catherine (Rooney Mara, the one voice resembling contempt for their romance) or Amy (Amy Adams). Most of all Amy.
In Amy we get the story's hope for human love and interaction. In a world with a decreasing amount of face-to-face time, not unlike our own, Amy and Theodore's reationship is Jonze's hope for the human race. It's the silver lining, that assures us that although you can find almost all you desire in the world of artitifical intelligence, technology is still faulty, and at the end of the day it is the human relationships you establish along your way that are there to lend you their shoulder. Because when it's all said and done, the touch of another is still something truly special and should never be taken for granted.
Not least evident in the ending.
I've tried to write this without letting too much of the story spill out, and without gushing all over my words.
It is to me, without a flaw, and a film I will revisit time and time again. Can't wait for the cinematic release, I will personally do my best to fill the theater to the brink.
Everyone should know of this, everyone should experience this.
Everyone should allow them selves to learn from it, love it, and feel how the endorphines of a great cinematic experience like this gives you such a high. And a tear constantly lingering in the corner of your eye.
To paraphraze: In Her I've found "the one film to rule them all, one film to find them, one film to bring them all and in the darkness of the theater bind them."
Sorry for the mess, but it is written with love....