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© Warner Bros. Pictures Germany

Her

Take our technology-pervasive society and multiply it 1000 times: not quite Soylent Green (1973) or Blade Runner (1982), but... Now imagine meeting someone who is ideally suited to you: funny, smart, sensitive, a confidant and friend. Your relationship develops: walks, shopping, family get-togethers, double dates, and playing computer games. Sound nice? Next envisage this perfect partner is the size of a cell phone with a voice. Welcome to the future.

Spike Jonze directs (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) and writes this sophisticated scenario about an intensely lonely man struggling through a devastating divorce who writes heartfelt letters for others – his boss (Chris Pratt) marvels at his sensitivity – yet is bereft of close ties. Purchasing a new OSI: "It's not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness”, his relationship with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson, voice) begins. Significantly, Joaquin Phoenix finely balances Theodore’s complicated personality: amiable, insightful, insecure and aloof, with strong performances from fellow thespians. Theodore’s daily landscape (K.K. Barrett, production design) appears as appetizing as a skip through a hellhole. Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography and Jeff Buchanan and Eric Zumbrunnen’s editing – plus computer magic – seamlessly match Los Angeles, California and Shanghai, China’s skylines. Jonze’s imaginative forecast is frighteningly astute, sustaining feelings of a disengaged, alien social order. Artificial intelligence’s transcendence is uncontrollable and equally capable of dishing out heartache. Not a traipse through paradise, melancholic Her is worth experiencing. (Marinell Haegelin)

Second Opinion

Soon we will be looking back to the good old times where a simple “cogito ergo sum” was all we needed to set ourselves apart as humans. In Her, this line gets blurred by the fact that an operating system (as in a computer software) is able to think, feel and evolve through its own experience. It literally turns into the “person” you need. Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely guy who is in the final stages of a divorce. Being lost without his wife, he jumps at the opportunity to have the perfect personal assistant. Samantha (Scarlett Johansson’s voice), as it has named itself, is funny, intelligent, and makes him feel alive again until the inevitable thing happens: Theodore and Samantha fall in love.

Her does not just offer beautiful pictures and a great cast. It is also the smartest film I have seen recently, since it works on so many levels. Samantha is basically the logical culmination of all imaginable internet-services. While Facebook & Co. still cater to substitute desires like consumerism, this program goes right to the heart of the matter. It has the insight of an über-counselor (it only needs to know about your relationship to your parents first…) and then makes you feel loved unconditionally. In order to do so, the program has basically come to a state of enlightenment, a state of pure consciousness. No nasty egos. No mommy issues, since “the past is just a story we tell ourselves.” Definitely a superior state by definition of many spiritual paths. But how human can perfect be?

I love the way this film plays with the modern desire of spiritual perfection versus “neediness” and also combines it with a slight science-fiction element in the form of sentient machines (without the Matrix-style doom, I am pleased to say). It also combines melancholia and loneliness with hope that can be found in our core if we let ourselves be truly human. (Katia Trost)

 

Abgang mit Stil (Going in Style) (2017)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Auf der Suche nach Oum Kulthum (Looking for Oum Kulthum) (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)

Beuys (2017)

Black Panther (2018)

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Chavela (2017)

Christopher Robin (2018)

Coco - Lebendiger als das Leben (Coco) (2017)

Der Seidene Faden (Phantom Thread) (2017)

Die andere Seite der Hoffnung (The Other Side of Hope, Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017)

Die Frau, die vorausgeht (Woman Walks Ahead) (2017)

Die Reise Der Pinguine 2 (March of the Penguins, L'empereur) (2017)

Die Unglaublichen 2 (Incredibles 2) (2018)

Die Unsichtbaren – Wir Wollen Leben (The Invisibles) (2017)

Die Verlegerin (The Post) (2017)

Discreet (2017)

Durch die Wand (The Dawn Wall) (2017)

Ex Libris: Die Public Library von New York (Ex Libris: The New York Public Library) (2017)

Exodus (Exodus Where I Come from Is Disappearing) (2017)

Feinde – Hostiles (Hostiles) (2017)

Foxtrot (2017)

Gans im Glück (Duck Duck Goose) (2018)

Genauso anders wie ich (Same Kind of Different as Me) (2017)

Gregs Tagebuch – Böse Falle! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The long Haul) (2017)

Hereditary - Das Vermächtnis (Hereditary) (2018)

Immer noch eine unbequeme Wahrheit: Unsere Zeit läuft (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power) (2017)

Isle of Dogs - Ataris Reise (Isle of Dogs) (2018)

Isle of Dogs - Ataris Reise (Isle of Dogs) (2018)

Kindeswohl (The Children Act) (2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Lady Bird (2017)

Leave No Trace (2018)

Love, Cecil (2017)

Mackie Messer - Brechts Dreigroschenfilm (Mack the Knife - Brecht's Threepenny Film) (2018)

Max - Agent auf vier Pfoten (Max 2 - White House Hero) (2017)

Maze Runner: Die Auswerwählten in der Todeszone (Maze Runner: The Death Cure) (2018)

Midnight Sun (2018)

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

Molly's Game: Alles auf eine Karte (Molly's Game) (2017)

Operation: 12 Strong (12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) (2018)

Paddington 2 (2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazars Rache (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) (2017)

Playing God (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

Shape of Water - Das Flüstern des Wassers (The Shape of Water) (2017)

Shut Up and Play the Piano (2018)

The Big Sick (2017)

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

The Rider (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Tiger Girl (2017)

Tulpenfieber (Tulip Fever) (2017)

Venom (2018)

What Happened to Monday? (Seven Sisters) (2017)

Wind River (2017)

Wunder (Wonder) (2017)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Ballon (2018)

Battle of the Sexes - Gegen jede Regel (Battle of the Sexes) (2017)

Black Panther (2018)

Das Etruskische Lächeln (The Etruscan Smile) (2018)

Die Dunkelste Stunde (Darkest Hour) (2017)

Die Schlümpfe - Das verlorenen Dorf (The Smurfs - The Lost Village) (2017)

Eleanor & Colette (55 Steps) (2017)

Es (It) (2017)

Greatest Showman (The Greatest Showman) (2017)

Intrigo - Tod eines Autors (Intrigo: Death of an Author) (2018)

Life, Animated (2017)

Logan Lucky (2017)

Loveless (Nelyubov) (2017)

Loving Vincent (2017)

No Way Out – Gegen Die Flammen (Only the Brave) (2017)

Planet der Affen: Survival (War for the Planet of the Apes) (2017)

Rememory (2017)

Schloss aus Glas (The Glass Castle) (2017)

Sicario 2: Soldado (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) (2018)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Star Wars: Die letzten Jedi (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) (2017)

Styx (2018)

The Commuter (2018)

The Death of Stalin (2017)

The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018)

The Limehouse Golem - Das Monster von Londen (The Limehouse Golem) (2017)

The Rider (2017)

Unsere Erde 2 (Earth: One Amazing Day) (2017)

Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

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