The LAMB Devours The Oscars: Her

by Lucien · January 31, 2014 · LAMB Devours the Oscars · No Comments

Editor’s note: This is part of a 37-part series dissecting the 86th Academy Awards, brought to you by the Large Association of Movie Blogs and its assorted members. Nearly every day leading up to the Oscars, at least one new post written by a different LAMB will be published, each covering a different category  of the Oscars. Also, every Best Picture and Best Director nominee gets its own post. To read the other posts regarding this event, please click here. Thank you, and enjoy!




“I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.”

 What connection do we truly want from other people and why do we want it like that? Are the conversations with the operating system the crux of what we as humans look for in interaction with each other or is talking to your computer insanity?

 Her plays the fine line between insanity and sincerity, weaving a path that not only makes us question ourselves but also leaves you wanting more; a film that will transcend this year, even if it doesn’t win Best Picture, as a genre-stepping masterpiece.

 It is the themes it brings up, the emotions it evokes, the reality that it instills in its characters and actions, and the simplicity it brings to such a complex theme. It is not complex in the sense that it is hard to understand the concept of falling in love with an operating system but more complex in the question of why.

 Theodore Twombley, played with such vulnerability by Joaquin Phoenix, is a character to root for because he has every good intention in the world even if he can’t articulate it always. A scene where Theodore is on a blind date (with Olivia Wilde) and has a great time, only to damage the entire thing by letting his true feelings toward commitment out are a perfect example of Theo as a character.

 He wants that connection with people but does not want to commitment that comes with it. His ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara) points it out when they are signing their divorce papers and he tells her about his relationship with his OS but Theodore finds her to be crazy and not understanding.

 But is Theodore wrong to think she doesn’t understand? Maybe. But I think he is a deeper character and needed that final push into making human connections, which takes place in the film’s climax, to make him the person he wants to be.

 This is what this film brings up.  A discussion of the themes that writer/director Spike Jonze is trying to piece together over the course of the film.

 While Gravity challenged filmmaking in its directing and 12 Years a Slave challenged slavery in cinema from here on out, Her challenged us even more as a film that is so bizarre yet so personal and one that will be important five, ten or even thirty years from now.

This film is crazy thing but this socially acceptable form of insanity is something that will be important for years to come after 2013.


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