Though Theodore Twombly can craft wonderfully poignant letters in his job as a writer, in his personal life he is deeply troubled following the breakdown of his marriage. Feeling lonely he purchases a newly developed artificially intelligent Operating System voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Marvelling at Samantha’s ability to learn, and her unfailing curiosity and usefulness, the two grow closer and eventually begin a relationship. Not having a body, bar an ear piece and a camera, brings unique problems, but also many very relatable issues.
Though just a voice, Samantha is smart, sexy, funny and inquisitive. Hesitation on a word as simple as ‘OK’ can mean so much, and Johansson judges it all perfectly. Her ability to imbue a piece of tech with soul is indeed award worthy.
Matching her performance is Phoenix, whose wistful melancholy is engaging and always the right side of infuriating. If he felt any pressure from the film almost entirely resting upon us looking at his face it doesn’t show, as he moves through a variety of emotions with ease.
Using technology merely a few steps forward from the present to display the intricacies of a relationship, Her is a captivating and soulful piece of cinema. Some may see it as a satirical swipe at our increasing distance from one another as we stare at our screens, but I see it as a celebration of the insanity that is love and how it can change us for the better.