What the critics are saying: ‘Her’

TORONTO — It’s nominated for three Golden Globe awards — including Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy — so it should come as no surprise that Her is getting mostly rave reviews.

Directed by Spike Jonze, it tells the story of an unusual relationship between a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) and a Siri-like operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) in a not-so-distant future.

Does Her deserve the awards season attention it’s getting? Here’s a look at what some reviewers had to say about the film.

Her is an excellent movie that can be enjoyed on so many levels and it has so much to say about not only who we are but where we are headed,” opined Mathew DeKinder of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Calling the movie “brilliant,” DeKinder said Her is “at its heart, a simple love story.”

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Sean P. Means of The Salt Lake Tribune described the movie as a “beautifully rendered futuristic romance.”

He wrote: “Jonze doesn’t just build a scenario for romantic drama, but gets to the core of what we mean when we talk about love.”

At the Toronto Star, Peter Howell also praised the director.

“This would be the stuff of rude farce or creepy fantasy in the wrong hands. Jonze sidesteps sniggers, shivers and convention, putting in plot twists that are at once shocking and completely logical,” wrote Howell.

Carl Kozlowski of Catholic News Agency heralded Her as “highly intelligent, unique, incredibly romantic and very funny.”

He added: “Rarely has a modern film offered so much to think about regarding the existence of love and how our connections to other humans are endangered in our ever more computerized society. Beneath its sweeping and sad romantic nature lies a powerful message that if we don’t look up from our smartphones and away from our computers and TV screens, someday we may not be able to find each other at all.”

New York Times reviewer Manohla Dargis described Her as both “a brilliant conceptual gag and a deeply sincere romance.”

She wrote: “Part of the pleasure of the movie is its modest scale, its hushed beauty and the deliberate ordinariness of its story … This is a movie you want to reach out and caress, about a man who, like everyone else around him in this near future, has retreated from other people into a machine world.

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“In Her, the great question isn’t whether machines can think, but whether human beings can still feel.”

Claudia Puig of USA Today praised the script as “thought-provoking and amusing,” adding the movie is “a timely, soulful and plausible love story.”

Her is, Puig added, “inventive, intimate and wryly funny.”

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