Spike Jonze, the wildly imaginative director of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Where the Wild Things Are, seems to have launched another winner, as Her premiered to very enthusiastic reaction at New York today. The Joaquin Phoenix-starring drama about a lonely man in the near future who falls in love with his operating system (Scarlett Johansson in a highly praised pure voiceover performance), is being described as a highly romantic, contemporary story about the interactions we have with others in the age of technology. I can't wait to see this- it's coming out in limited release in December, but set to expand wide January 10th. It may not be a big Oscar player though, as its quirkiness and select appeal will probably limit it to screenplay and original song consideration only. But it's set to be a critics' darling based on this early word.
"What begins like an adolescent dream soon blossoms into Jonze's richest and most emotionally mature work to date, burrowing deep into the give and take of relationships, and that eternal dilemma, shared by both man and machine: the struggle to know one's own true self." (Variety)
"It's sincere in how it approaches loneliness and the compulsion to overcome it, and it asks the question of whether technology fosters distance from others, helps surmount it, or both." (Hollywood Reporter)
"Deeply perceptive and attuned to the risks, fears, surprises, and wonders of intimacy, 'Her' is a vulnerable, earnest movie that strikes no false notes, never feels manipulative, and earns the sadness and reflection it evokes in its audience." (The Playlist)
"'Her' is a screwball surrealist comedy that asks us to laugh at an unconventional romance while also disarming us with the realization that its fantasy scenario isn't too far from out present reality." (Slant)
Here's the trailer again: