Sonntag, 12. Januar 2014


It would take a whole book to describe how marvelous Spike Jonze's script for "Her" is. Suffice it so say, it's one of those rare creations that, born of a truly original idea and carrying with it an abundance of reality-based humor and despair, takes flight into the stratosphere of imagination without ever losing touch with a deeply human core, that evokes big truths in little details to display a piercing intelligence and keenly perceptive eye, that maps out a vision of the world under a hypnotic, futuristic shine with the utmost tenderness while posing so many fundamental questions about us as a being and revealing so much of our existential doubts. It's unique, beautifully-worded, tremendously moving and makes you want to put him in charge of all language ever spoken.

Sure, romantic license is exercised here and there to not quite seamless effect on a technical level. But then comes Joaquin Phoenix, who gives one of his mildest but most beguiling performances on screen. Playing the solitary surrogate letter-writer falling for a computer operating system, he brings just the right combination of dented inwardness and self-contained innocence to always convince. Through the repressed longing, curiosity, hesitance or a sheer sense of wonder coded in his looks, his words, his posture, you buy into that almost desperate need to hold on to some warmth or signs of intimacy, even if they're offered by a voice in a box.

The visual and aural design of the movie is beyond reproach. The lovely color palette reflected in the set and constumes glows with a cozy temperature that also hints at a streamlined, alienating perfection. The score provided by Arcade Fire with all its hopeful flow, quiet retreat, tragic haste is so eloquent and picturesque it informs you of the emotional topography shared between the man and the machine. On top of it all is Jonze's direction, which has got the bittersweet, lonesome, fantastical but cuttingly palpable tone of the film down to a T. The way he inserts those joyous flashbacks silently and without warning into the protagonist's most vulnerable moments kills me every time.

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