Writer/director Spike Jonze–best known for the acclaimed, quirky dramedies Being John Malkovich and Adaptation–looks like he has another offbeat winner on his hands with the new film Her. Fresh off his critically-adored, Oscar-nominated turn in last year’s The Master, Joaquin Phoenix stars as a depressed recluse who develops a relationship with a uniquely intelligent operating system that adapts itself completely to its user. Phoenix’s operating system goes by the name Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). The premise reminds me a bit of the 2007 Ryan Gosling dramedy Lars and the Real Girl, which also tells the story of a lonely guy in a highly unconventional relationship.
By the looks of the trailer for Her, Phoenix looks as though he’s bound to deliver yet another praise-worthy performance. Here, it looks as though he puts his usual intensity aside to play a more sensitive character. Buzz around Her is so positive that the film is being pushed back from its original release of November 20 to December 18–presumably so the film and Phoenix are fresh in Oscar voters’ minds. Also featuring Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde, Her looks like a film I’m going to want to check out come December!
A lonely writer forms an surprisingly real relationship with his newly-purchased operating system that’s catered to meet his every need.