Friday, December 20, 2013

Her Is The Best Film Of 2013

As I walked out of that theater I knew it without a doubt.
In 2013, nothing else compared. No other motion picture was more timely, impressive in scope, or well fleshed out than Spike Jonze's Her. Honestly, when I first caught the trailer, I knew I was gonna like this movie. But I had no idea I was going to LOVE it.
The most impressive element... the thing that took me most by surprise... was Spike's ability not to fall into the obvious writing traps this concept could have afforded. Scarlett Johansson's Samantha is just so utterly believable and intriguing to the point that I believe everyone in that screening wished they had her as their own OS.
It never ceases to amaze me how, with every passing year, a new element of sci-fi becomes almost happenstance. This time it was utterly believable that our Operating Systems could one day be given sentience. And therefor become much more effective in helping us maneuver through our everyday lives. When Samantha first appears, she immediately cleans up Theodore's (Joaquin Phoenix) mess. In a matter of seconds, his life becomes infinitely easier. I don't think this idea is very far off. And Spike Jonze goes out of his way (without taking any extra steps mind you) to show us how society has already evolved to allow for this technology. Theodore's job is a very simple and effective means to explaining where humanity is at this time. He writes "beautiful" heartfelt letters for people... so that they don't have to themselves. The evolution of society was already leaning in Samantha's favor. So getting to that point feels pretty much effortless.

This is just one simple detail that I am pulling to try and explain how perfect this film actually is. Wait until you meet the alien (you'll know what I'm talking about).
I didn't believe it before, but now I do... Joaquin Phoenix is back. He gave an exceptional performance. I felt for him the whole movie and felt almost disgusted with myself for how onboard I was in his choice to be with Samantha. Scarlett Johansson deserves an Oscar. I know there's no voice category, but she lived that part and as an audience we somehow understood her... not an easy task when you're trying to convey a sentience that can communicate with pretty much the entire world all at once. Amy Adams was great. Chris Pratt was great. Rooney Mara was great. Olivia Wilde too. Man! What an awesome group of people. And just look at who plays the voices on the other ends of phone calls in this thing. Just All Star all the way.

Spike Jonze has been leading toward this for quite some time now. And I'm very pleased to be recommending this new film of his so ardently. It left me utterly exhausted emotionally. I love the concept, I love the colors, I love the music. Don't ask any questions. Just see Her.

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