Oscar Project 2014: ‘Her’

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I went into “Her” with pretty low expectations. From what I had heard, it was about a guy who basically falls in love with Siri, and although my friends said it was good, I was skeptical. But sure enough, I loved it.

Yes, it is about a guy who falls in love with an operating system, but it’s not long before that’s not weird: the relationship between Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) feels real enough, with all the ups and downs you expect from any real-life couple.

And “Her” isn’t just a typical love story movie focused on an atypical couple; it’s bigger than that. It makes you think a lot about relationships in general, about how people connect to one another.

There are a few scenes in which Theodore walks around completely engrossed in conversation with Samantha, totally ignoring the real people all around him. Eventually you start to notice that many of the other people are doing it, too, and it hits close to home. How many times have I walked across campus and realized that 90 percent of the people around me were on their phones? How many times have I been one of those people?

I was also surprised by how many times “Her” made me laugh, mostly thanks to a solid number of awkward moments and a video game character with an attitude.

Best lines:

The past is just a story we tell ourselves.

We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.

The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love.

My verdict: Enjoyed “Her” enough to recommend and to watch again, but not enough to own.

Oscar-nominated for: Best Picture, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Production Design, Writing (Original Screenplay).

Rookie opinion: It has a decent shot at winning for writing, but probably not much of a chance in the other categories.

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