Her (2013)

1Her is the most thoughtful film about technology nowadays that I’ve seen. Instead of portraying the advancement of technology as cold and distant, Her focuses much more on how much human is in technology. This is achieved cleverly: by using a warm colour palette.

Ever since I saw the trailer to Her, I was charmed by Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Samantha. I wasn’t wrong and she was great in the film. Her portrayal of an operating system with a conscious was radiant and intriguing one – even though she wasn’t physically there, her presence was tangible throughout the film. I was actually so disappointed in that her name didn’t come in the credits, side by side with Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Amy Adams. I read that Spike Jonze first had Samantha Morton voice Samantha, but in post-production decided against it and recast with Johansson, shooting some scenes again and having Johansson read Samantha. I’m glad that he did, because I can’t imagine the film working with anyone else than with Scarlett Johansson as Samantha.


Jonze also nails the atmosphere – from two viewings, I didn’t find even one inconsistency. I really loved Theodore’s shirts, his apartment, office, the streets. There are differences, the futurism is implied in every scene, but they are subtle and never thrown into our faces as the blue-and-gray films so often do.


Some of my favourite parts in the film are the scenes when we watch the world through Theodore’s eyes and look at the people. In Jonze’s near future, all people in the streets look like zombies. Nobody pays attention to their surroundings or talks to real people, only to ones who are an earpiece away or to their operating systems – even before OS1. I’m a big advocate of not going around, face glued into a smartphone – I’m afraid of that future. After the film, I almost ran to my host family because the detachedness I’d seen in Her scared me and I really craved human contact.1 The people who we get to know, mainly Theodore’s ex-wife and best friend, though show us that deep down, behind the invisible screens, they’re still human. Here I’d also mention how great were Amy Adams (who got the best lines, too – “Falling in love is a crazy thing to do, it’s like a form of socially acceptable insanity”) and Rooney Mara, whose character’s incorporation into the film was done so beautifully that in a world where Gravity doesn’t exist, Her would’ve deserved to win an Oscar for editing, too.

I went to see it with my family, too, a few days later, and besides from everyone crying, they were all scared, too. I hope everyone is.


1  And believe me, I’m big on staying in my room, alone behind my computer, for days.

35 responses to “Her (2013)

  1. Great review! Agree totally with you especially about how just a voice had such an impact, check my review if you want! (5/5) glad you enjoyed it and quite jealous of you for seeing it twice, might have to myself 🙂

  2. Good review. There are many things this movie does at once, but one of the most important things it does is how it tells us that love is something important one person should have in their lives. In ways, it helps us become the person we are today and, for better and for worse, makes us realize what is really out there in the world.

    • Diiiid you read my mind? The aspect of love and its necessity was the thing that stuck with me most (with the scary part) and honestly, it made me re-evaluate my life and where I’m at to a big extent. Thank you, Dan, ever so thoughtful!

  3. I think that future is already here, it’s inevitable with the progress of technology and human race’s fondness for convenience.But if anything Samantha was capable of making Theodore feel love so that’s a silver lining, in rather horrific scenario – that maybe people are replaceable and we are not half as special as we think. I’d review the film, but I’d get depressed doing so.

    • That…is a depressing thought. Wow.

      But I absolutely agree–the future is here. I hate how dependent we are of technology, and I think Her, aside from being an excellent film, is a huge red warning sign, if we only know to read it.

  4. Can’t wait to see this. It seems to say a lot about our increasingly intimate relationship with technology.

    • You definitely should–if you were only to see one film from this year’s Oscar BP nominees, I’d actually say that Her is most worth watching. 😉

  5. This is a great movie. Agreed. And yes, part of it is a bit scary. 🙂

  6. Great review! I love this film so much, and it seemed so realistic to me. I definitely can see our society getting to this point. (Those video games looked pretty awesome though.)

    I couldn’t picture any other voice but Scarlett’s either.

  7. Excellent review, I have to agree on all accounts! 🙂

  8. Lovely review Elina. Couldn’t agree more, about both the general excellence of the film and the scariness of zombie-inducing technology!

  9. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one Elina. This was the film of the year for me. Absolutely brilliant!

    • AWESOME!! The more I think about Her, the more I find that I loved it. 😀

      • I did love it Elina. It was a marvellous little film and definitely my favourite of the year. Spike Jonze has really excelled himself here and if he can continue to write original material like this, then hopefully we have many more like it.

  10. First of all; I love how short and spot-on your reviews are! I just re-watched Her last weekend and found myself enjoying it just as much as on my first viewing. It’s scary how the people in the street behave, definitely, but thankfully they all seem rather sweet and still very human. I didn’t know that Jonze wanted someone else to voice Samantha – nobody can beat Scarlett!

    • Aw, thank you, Mette!

      One of the reasons I found Her so lovely was that it brought the human aspect of our technology future out–the people looked like zombies in one way, but they were still human. (This is my confusing way to say: yes!! Agreed!)

  11. Great review. The themes are intriguing and the performances sound great, add that to the huge amount of praise it already has and I need to watch this film.

  12. Brilliant brilliant review! You nailed this. I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did, but it ranked #3 in my top 10 list of the year. I was so overwhelmed with it and moved to tears.

    “Her portrayal of an operating system with a conscious was radiant and intriguing one – even though she wasn’t physically there, her presence was tangible throughout the film. ” THIS SENTENCE. Perfection.

  13. Really glad you enjoyed this, it’s one of the most original films I’ve seen in ages. I loved how the whole thing felt completely normal, as if a guy having a relationship with his computer was the most natural thing in the world.

    • That exchange “let’s have a double date–me, you, our girlfriends”–“she’s an operating system”–“cool!” was so confusing, and yet another example of how genius Jonze is. 😀

  14. Wonderful review Elina!! I’m such a big fan of this film and I love your opening line. I too think Her is the most thoughtful film about technology nowadays that I’ve seen so far, and Joaquin’s melancholy performance really gets me. It’s not a cold film which could easily be under a lesser filmmaker.

  15. Such a lovely review, Elina! The future in Her scares me too. I loved Theodore’s moments with Samantha, though I craved his scenes with Amy Adams much more. The ending was truly beautiful.

  16. Her was a treasure to watch, Amy Adams and Chris Pratt got on my nerves though, nice review 🙂

  17. Well…I finally saw it. Your review is really, really good and covers much of what I didn’t (no surprise!). I loved this film a lot and think it’s one of the best of last year.

    Every single aspect of this film works so well to create an impossibly imaginative narrative. Ugh. I can’t stand how good it is.

Tell me, tell me, TELL ME

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s