So, there’s been a lot of Oscar-related talk about Scarlett Johansson’s disembodied voice in Spike Jonze’s latest film, Her.
Some say it’s her best performance to date, which… considering Johansson’s prolific acting resume… is an interesting takeaway. Anyway, you can judge Johansson’s possibly Oscar-worthy voice for yourself in the following trailer for Her.
Joaquin Phoenix, who received rave reviews and an Academy Award nomination for his performance in last year’s The Master, plays Theodore Twombly. He’s socially withdrawn and trying to recoup after the end of a long relationship with a woman named Catherine (Rooney Mara). He ends up forming a bond and subsequently falling in love with a highly advanced computer operating system called “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson). Amy Adams also appears in the trailer below as Theodore’s longtime friend and neighbor.
Reviews have been very favorable so far, with possible Academy Award nominations going to Spike Jonze for Best Directing and Best Original Screenplay, and Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor (although the competition for Best Actor this year is pretty stiff).
The film is beguilingly sincere and touching in how it approaches loneliness and the compulsion to overcome it, and it asks the relevant question of whether technology fosters distance from others, helps surmount it, or both. It also inquires into the different sorts of satisfactions, and lack of same, offered by human beings and machines in an age we’ve already entered. [The Hollywood Reporter]
“Her” hums along on the strengths of Jonze’s unassuming script and a slickly realized world. The visual sheen owes much to cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”), who lights scenes with a bright, polished look that echoes the utopian ideals of so many computer advertisements without overstating their cheap bids at lyricism. Rather than devising an impressionistic vision of the future, Jonze delivers a muted take on what things might actually look like not too far down the road. [IndieWire]
But mostly “Her” is a two-(terabyte?)-hander of bracing intimacy, acutely capturing the feel of an intense affair in which the rest of the world seems to pass by at a distance. And where so many sci-fi movies overburden us with elaborate explanations of the new world order, “Her” keeps things airy and porous, feathering in a few concrete details (a news report mentions an impending merger between India and China) while leaving much to the viewer’s imagination. [Variety]
Her will get a limited release on December 18, 2013.