Released 2013 (USA)
American, in English
Director - Spike Jonze
Stars - Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams
Theodore Twombly (Phoenix), a man in the throes of loneliness and depression, falls in love with his computer's artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha (Johansson). Adams co-stars as Theodore’s close friend, Amy.
Lots of blue language; sexy times; brief female nudity (breasts only).
For a film set in the (nearish) future, it sure had some old-fashioned ideas about gender. People repeatedly make a big deal out of the fact that Theodore is sensitive (he’s even called a sissy for admitting that he cries). Amy is a programmer but the game she’s programming is about competing to be a good mom. I found it really off-putting/jarring. I hope we’ll be beyond most of that 50 years from now.
I’m always pleasantly surprised when movies depict a male/female friendship without a hint of romance to it. Well done, film.
The acting is phenomenal. Phoenix was particularly impressive. When I think about the fact that he spent most of filming likely talking to himself, and how he was able to effectively emote while doing that, I’m completely blown away.
It’s visually quite beautiful.
I wasn’t looking forward to this at all. I don’t have anything against Joaquin Phoenix, but I wasn’t convinced that he could carry a film the way he needed to for this. Also, I was skeptical of the concept. Something about the previews I saw made it seem creepy or icky. But I went into it with an open mind, and I found myself quickly charmed. There’s nothing creepy or icky about the central romance. In fact, I thought it was really touching. Both Phoenix and Adams do an amazing job of showing what it’s like to be in a bad place in your life, and also what it’s like to come out of that bad place. I was completely wrong about Phoenix’s ability to carry the film. It’s lovely on so many levels, in a way that moved me to tears more than once. Nearly everything about it is well done: the acting, the cinematography, the special effects, the soundtrack, and the writing. My quibbles with it - including that it’s rather light on the sci fi front - are minor.
I give it 4.25 stars.