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High Tech Affairs: Jonze Unites Poets & Processors
In Her, Spike Jonze’s brainy and big hearted exploration of near future human relationships with techno-intelligence, Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, an eloquent writer of personalized letters for those unwilling or unable to breath comparable verve into the romantic, if archaic, language of the handwritten word. Based on provided dossiers, conjured from the ether, and spoken out loud to a screen which automatically interprets dialogue into personalized scrawl, Theodore’s missives are the stuff of raw romance, deeply personal, profoundly affecting and pathetically silly, despite a shallow knowledge of his clientele’s startlingly intimate relationships. These letters often serve as a physical embodiment of the feeling the film flawlessly projects – an open dialogue of emotions laid bare, where love is laid on the line in embarrassingly intimate, hopelessly fragile words based purely on abstract feelings. Sprinkled with the magic of technology and endlessly »
- Jordan M. Smith
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 New York Film Festival. Her opens today in limited release.] We ascribe technology a personality and vice versa. We say our machines “hate” us when they break down. Programs illustrate the interests of the user. Spike Jonze’s Her may seem like an outrageous concept—a man falling in love with a computer—the idea is closer than we think, and its immediacy isn’t just a social concern. It’s an existential concern as the film attempts to provide the contours of a soul through the absence of a body, a past, and society. Her is a fragile, delicate movie that requires the audience’s absolute indulgence, but the rewards are some head-spinning questions coupled with a tender, funny, and touching love story. Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a writer for “beautifulhandwrittenletters.com”, a company that creates elaborate, personalized greeting cards. Theodore has been depressed since he broke up with his wife, Catherine (Rooney Mara), but then he comes »
- Matt Goldberg
Today's top ten list was inspired by the passing of the great Joan Fontaine, half of Hollywood's most embittered And most successful sibling rivalry, all-female division. Usually when a movie star has a sibling, one is considerably less successful than the other which is why the Fontaine & de Havilland business was so enduringly fascinating. (If we're talking mixed gender siblings only Warren Beatty & Shirley Maclaine are truly comparable in terms of parallel mega-careers). I'm dedicating this list to the one and only Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorleac (her gorgeous elder sister who died way too young)... those Young Girls of Rochefort. But Rochefort is a long way from Hollywood.
Hollywood's Top Twelve (Actress) Sister Acts
The Sisters Mara: Kate & Rooney
- NATHANIEL R
Opening this Wednesday, Ron Burgundy and his team take New York by storm in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" and Joaquin Phoenix gets intimate with Scarlett Johansson's voice in the Spike Jonze-directed "Her." Meanwhile, Christian Bale and Amy Adams bring the '70s to life as con men (people?) in "American Hustle," getting a wide-release on Friday.
"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" finds Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and the Channel 4 News team in a new city, but up to the same old tricks. After losing his San Diego job to his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), Burgundy decides to take on Manhattan as part of New York's first 24-hour news channel. Written and directed by Adam McKay -- with Ferrell co-writing -- the sequel brings back Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner, and features countless celebrity cameos.
- Jonny Black
In this monthly column we spotlight new Blu-ray/DVD releases by interviewing directors about the scenes that stood out most for them while making their movies. This month, we talk to David Lowery about his debut feature, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (out December 17). One of the must-see titles from this past Sundance Film Festival, David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is an intimate Southern yarn set in 1970s Texas that follows the star-crossed love of Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) and Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara) from their flirtatious youth to their dramatic split when Bob is hauled off to jail. As Ruth waits for Bob, with child in tow, she begins to find solace in a policeman named Patrick (Ben Foster) who’s grown fond of her. But they...
- Jason Guerrasio
A fourth Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novel is to be written.
The trilogy, originally penned by Stieg Larsson, will now be extended by fellow Swedish writer David Lagercrantz.
In 2004, Larsson passed away at the age of 50 and had begun writing a fourth novel.
According to the book's Swedish publishers, Lagercrantz's novel - about characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist - is due to be published in August 2015.
Speaking about the project, Lagercrantz said he has "already started writing it", adding: "It's terribly fun. It's a fantastic world to step into."
However, Larsson's partner Eva Gabrielsson described the new venture as "distasteful".
Catch up on all the latest TV and Movies releases in Digital Spy's Screen Time: »
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? This little Texan indie is part romance and part dramatic thriller. Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, and Ben Foster headline this top-notch cast about a man on the run, the woman he loves, and the sheriff who tries to get between them. (Not in a romantic way, just, you know, because he's a man of the law and Affleck's character broke out of jail.)
Why We're In: It's a slow and sweet Sundance favorite, and the Texas weather looks a whole lot hotter than the snow most of us are dealing with every day.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (1920) - Deluxe Edition
Why We're In: »
- Jenni Miller
A passionate crime committed by two passionate people splits them apart, but nothing can put out the flame of attraction in David Lowery's beautiful "Ain't Them Bodies Saints." One of the year's finest films and a festival circuit sensation, if you missed the chance to see it on the big screen then the good news is that you'll soon be able to catch up with it in the comfort of your own home. Starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, the film tells the tale of Bob Muldoon who takes the fall after his partner Ruth Guthrie's gun wounds a police officer during a standoff. Though sentenced to 25 years in prison, Bob makes a daring escape, determined to reconnect with the love of his life and meet the daughter he's never seen. But the authorities and fate are conspiring to keep them apart. It's a lovely, lyrical tale told against an even more lovely, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
It’s one thing to see Joaquin Phoenix’s new movie, Her, being shown in media on the internet. It’s another thing to see it showcased on the television where many non-nerds will see for the first time. And this TV spot displays all of the cyber love awkwardness front and center. Such a sweet, sad and thoughtful movie. Here’s the TV spot.
TV Spot: Her
- Jess Orso
If there’s one film I cannot wait to see in 2014 it’s Spike Jonze’s Her. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, the film explores what happens when a man falls in love with a personalized operating system (Os). Although lacking a physical presence, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) manages to bring Theodore to life after he struggles to come to terms with his divorce.
I’m a sucker for anything romantic, especially when there’s a twist to the story. Co-starring Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, Her may well be my film of 2014 (and we’ve not even finished 2013 yet!).
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
Spike Jonze’s new movie, Her, is a high-concept science fiction romance set against a gleaming cityscape (Shanghai, standing in for Los Angeles) and crammed with ideas about the future of artificial intelligence, social media, and gaming. Its mid-to-late-21st century is credible, designed and decorated with the understanding that every generation comes to value those parts of the past that they feel their culture has denied them. It's a world of beige streets, simulated experiences, and intangible media where the scratchy and handmade are in fashion. Men wear lip-tickling mustaches and wool pants, computers come in wooden cases, and books are regarded as neat cultural objects, just like vinyl records and cassettes in the present.
And yet, despite all of its retro-futuristic bric-a-brac and next-phase-of-Western-culture guesswork, the impressive thing about Her is its simplicity and sensitivity. Composed in large part of long, locked-in close-ups, the movie is as much »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Our favorite leading ladies upped the ante for red carpet style this week with structured gowns, embellished midis and bold lips. We personally love a darker lip—a la Rooney—for winter, especially when worn to offset a pale ensemble. Read on for our picks for best looks of the week: Olivia Wilde attended the Los Angeles premiere of her new film Her in a figure-hugging David Koma dress, Jimmy Choo heels and Jacob & Co. jewelry. The mom-to-be proudly posed for many a side-photo to show off her burgeoning bump. Meanwhile, Rooney Mara wowed at the Oxfam Charity Gala in Dubai, donning a custom white Lanvin gown, Brian Atwood heels and Carrie Hoffman jewelry. The actress added drama to her look »
It was almost too poignant an absence, considering Johansson plays the disembodied operating system of our dreams in Spike Jonze’s futuristic love story. As Samantha, Johansson could only rely on her voice — silences and subtle inflections and all — to make us believe that Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore could possibly fall in love with a computer program. She doesn’t even have the benefit of an animated avatar.
Though she’s getting raves for her unconventional but affecting performance, »
- Lindsey Bahr
Leave it to Spike Jonze to give us one of the oddest love stories of all time. In his new film Her, Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a man who is heartbroken after his relationship breaks up. Desperate for love again, Theodore falls for an advanced operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
Already starting to earn some serious awards buzz, Her is a warm and clever film, with some excellent performances from its cast and Jonze’s trademark directorial style stamped all over it. In fact, it might just be the director’s best work yet.
Yesterday, Warner Bros. held a red carpet premiere for the film in Los Angeles and we were on hand to cover the event. Unfortunately, several of the film’s stars more or less skipped the press line, meaning we couldn’t speak with people like Joaquin Phoenix or Amy Adams.
That being said, »
- Dan Deevy
It was a full house at the Directors Guild of America on Thursday night for the Los Angeles premiere of Spike Jonze's Her. Stars Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Joaquin Phoenix, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role, were among the cast that braved the brisk December evening air to support their director. "It was Spike that drew me to this role -- Spike sat down and he had such a great point of view, I think anyone who talked with him was on board," Adams said. "He executed it beautifully." Video: Roundtable: Oprah Winfrey
- Natalie Stone
The Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) organizers dished out its Muhr awards on the eve of the shindig's end, which will close Saturday with a gala screening of David O. Russell's American Hustle. The awards were presented at a standalone ceremony Dec. 13 by Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates vp, prime minister and ruler of Dubai to dozens of the Arab world’s best filmmakers across the myriad Muhr Arab categories, as well as their counterparts from Asia and Africa. Story: Dubai Film Fest: Mark Ruffalo, Rooney Mara Helm Charity Gala Dinner Winners included Hany Abu
- Stuart Kemp
Rated R for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday and Scarlett Johansson Written and Directed By: Spike Jonze The iPhone app Siri, a female-voiced artificially intelligent personal assistant, debuted in 2011 to the world’s wonderment. It was like something out of the future […]
Read Review: Her on Filmonic. »
- Andrew Shuster
Dubai -- Rooney Mara, Mark Ruffalo and Naomie Harris added a splash of star power to the Dubai Film Festival’s annual charity gala dinner, One Night to Change Lives, held in collaboration with Oxfam to raise money for the crisis in Syria. Photos: The Scene at THR's 2013 Women in Entertainment Breakfast Mara, who attended the same event last year, was once again making a flying visit to the city, saying she hadn’t had enough time to see any of the films screening at the festival, now in its 10th edition. "I haven’t even been to the top of that,"
- Alex Ritman
Team Fyc highlights our favorite individual fringe Oscar contenders. Here's Philippe Ostiguy...
Last January, waves of chatter came rushing out of Sundance with glowing words for a little American drama that has steadily enchanted audiences since. Though it can’t be credited with much innovation, David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is an old-fashioned tale of love and crime told with heart, eager to pay tribute to Americana pioneers. Though its sun-kissed cinematography and trio of lead performances by Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Casey Affleck have been the main talking points, the film earns most of its magic by way of Daniel Hart’s musical contributions, at once delicate and tense, alert and dreaming.
Classically trained violinist Hart, who has released music under his own name as well as with his bands The Physics of Meaning and Dark Rooms, has little film experience: his only other scoring »
- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Apologies to the five or so of you who read this with any regularity, there was no column last week. Day job woes and Christmas combined to stomp my ass into a fug of inactivity in terms of watching and writing about it. Therefore you get a bumper edition this week with two weeks’ worth of content.
In other big news House of Cards returns to Netflix with season two in February and the Turbo super-fast snail animated series, based on that DreamWorks film that recently came out, debuts in December. Now TV also has you covered during Christmas week by adding a new big title pretty much every day between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, although apart from Elf on Now TV and a dedicated Christmas selection, there is a disturbing lack of Christmas themed films on the other services.
- Chris Holt
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