It’s taken four years for director Spike Jonze to follow-up his 2009 adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s story Where the Wild Things Are, but today we finally get a glimpse of Her. Joaquin Phoenix stars, in the second part in his career rehabilitation following his incensed and Academy Award nominated performance in last years The Master, as does a myriad of talented actresses including Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson.
We’ve come to expect an offbeat setup from the director of films like Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and Her proves no different. The film tells the story of a sad and lonely writer named Theodore (Phoenix, sporting a mustache straight out of the ’70s) who develops a relationship with his new Siri-like computer operating system that happens to sound a lot like Scarlett Johansson. Perhaps Jonze, who wrote this movie, picked up a few tips from his writer on Malkovich and Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman, who also wrote the similar in spirit romantic-comedy-by-way-of-science-fiction Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The very busy trio of Adams (who also stars in David O. Russell’s awards bait American Hustle), Mara (next seen in the Sundance hit Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and Wilde (also in this fall’s racing drama Rush, from Ron Howard) play the women, past and present, in Theodore’s real life. Samantha Morton (Synechode, New York) had been originally cast as the voice of the operating system until Jonze, in a last minute switch, opted for Johansson’s famously smoky cadence. Carey Mulligan was also originally cast, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling issues and was replaced by Mara.
Jonze and team have been extra tight lipped about Her, only slightly (and refreshingly) teasing the smallest bits of the latest, save for the few lucky moviegoers who were treated to two scenes at the Los Angeles Film Festival this past June.
The official synopsis by producer Megan Ellison’s production company, AnnaPurna Pictures, describes the film:
In the not so distant future, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user’s every needs. To Theordore’s surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system. This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all.
Her opens November 20th. Check out the trailer below: