movie review

« Her », a modern melancholic and poetic love story

Publié le Mis à jour le

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« Her », mysterious title, mysterious poster with only Joaquin Phoenix’s head, everything to catch my curiosity. Produce by Spike Jonze (the one who know this guy before this movie can raise one hand :D) and release in 2013, this movie get a grad really high on Rotten Tomatoes (8.5/10) and it is the same on almost every websites.
So let’s see the trailer to have a first taste of this movie.

The story take place in a close future. Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a solitary and introverted man working for an agency which write personnel words and letters for you family, friends and love, just like it was you holding the pen. Despite his amazing skills to draw with perfection strong feelings for others on paper, he is not capable to do the same for himself, for his life, so his life is sad, without love and only fool of regrets and melancholy. Moreover, due to the divorce demand coming from his child love Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theodore finally let him convince by buying an OS, an operating system, like an A.I. which is really trendy. It is elaborated to adapt and evolved itself according the owner, so in this way you can have someone to talk, breaking the loneliness, someone that can understand you perfectly. He decide that this OS will be a women and she names it(her)self as Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Theodore is fascinated by Samantha’s skills to adapt and evolved along their endless discussions, in order to be in phase with him. They become more and closer. Samantha became the prefect incarnation of everything he was searching for in a partner, available, paying attention about what he say, about him, always available, curious, interested, sharring same tastes and desires. He will fall in love of her, and thanks to her He will evolved, learn to let go and move one about the past of his life and live back looking strait forward, looking at the future.

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For me this movie is a magnificent beauty UFO. I heard a lot about this movie, only good things, but without any special details about the deep story of the movie. Now, after seeing it, I understand better why it was quite difficult to explain in details this movie.
First of all, the poster can be a little bit confusion because you see only the face of Joaquin, it is quite minimalist but you don’t have to be scary 😉 Because this movie really worth the shot. The cast is not too big so in this way you have only good actor with of course Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johanson, Rooney Mara but also Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt.
This movie speak about human relations. There is no action at all, no violence, nothing that you can find generally in a blockbuster, and it is really pleasant (I did not say that I do not like those movies, it is just it’s great when you have different types of movies, and with this one it change your movies habits). We are following the main character with attention, everything is calm, without a lot of music, and you just have to focus on the speech and the feeling of the Theodore. I have to admit that the rhythm is slow, but everything move sufficiently rapidly to not be bored. We discovered step by step the past of the character, his personals problems and the event that push him to buy this OS. The producer depict a believable world that could be our close future, sterilized, where human relations would be only behind a screen, cold and impersonal. Jonze managed to draw a poetic cyber-romance between Theodore and Samantha. OS are showed like a solution, an alternative to the human loneliness where they locked them up by themselves.
Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are almost the only characters on the screen (more or less for Scarlett :p) and they carrying the all movie by themselves. Phoenix is astonishing during all the movie, with a highly sensitive interpretation. He fined his soul mate with Samantha, someone that can listen, laugh, share and take care of him. It is cute, adorable and touching. We are the witnesses of the love bounding Theodore and Samantha, and also the emancipation of Samantha. It is a 22nd century love story touching and we cannot resist.

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To conclude about the movie “Her”, I think it is a kind of movie that you like or dislike without intermediate point of view, because it is a non-conventional movie compare to all the actual productions. But if you like love stories, and great actor performance, I can assure you that you will like this movie!
There is a philosophical dimension (with poetry) because Jonze push us to think about the actual relation between people in the society, the people we love, the people that we encounter during our life, and sometimes it is better to be honest with ourselves in order to move one and not being stuck in the past.
I think you understood my point of view, I loved this movie. I have been touched. Joaquin really surprised me with his sensibility. If you asked me to resume this movie with one sentence I will say quite simply « Close your eyes, press the play button and listen » 😉
« Her » deserve a big 18/20, this is a beautiful movie that you have to see!

Enjoy!
Desmond Andrew Green

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« Groundhog Day » A movie that we like to watch again and again and again !

Publié le Mis à jour le

I must confess something, it is hard to say, but, I am not really young :p So I grew up with 80’s movies and I know them quite well 😀
That is why I am going to speak about the movie « Groundhog Day » with the famous Bill Murray (the second movie I have seen with him when I was young, just after Ghostbuster’s), a movie that really left me good memories because I really laugh a lot. Let’s see the trailer.

I decided to watch this movie again few weeks ago (with my girlfriend because she never seen it) and I realized it aged properly because we laugh a lot together and she enjoyed this movie.
It was realized by Harold Ramis (yes! Doctor Egon Spengler from Ghostbuster’s 1 and 2) in 1993, it doesn’t make us any younger 🙂 )

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We are following along this movie the story of Phil Connors (Bill Murray, outstanding like usual), announcer in a small TV station, with a huge ego and acting like a rude stupid guy with every people he meet, because he think he is a big TV star, but he is not. Like every years, he has to go to the small city Punxsutawney to covering the annual event of the Groundhog Day. He went to this city with his cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) and his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell). However, weary to do this reportage every year, he made a sloppy report, hopping that he will be able to get back to Pittsburgh quickly. Unfortunately, a snowstorm, which he announce on the screen earlier to be in another region, hit the small city of Punxsutawney, forcing them to stay on more day.
This is where it all begin. After this night, Phil wake up and seems to have a filling of « déjà vu » and realize quickly that he is back to the Groundhog Day. This day goes like the last time and Phil seems to be the only one to realize that.
Totally lost at the beginning, Phil start to realize that it is not a nightmare but a good opportunity to do what he want, among craziest things. At this point, the film begin to be a repetition of the same day with a lot of gags each one most craziest than the others.

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During this movie, le character of Phil is going to learn to listen other people, caring more about them than himself. He start the movie acting as a selfish guy, really mean, but step by step, he became someone really close to other people, saving them, helping them, or simply listening them, seeing that we can find pleasure to help others and seeing them happy.
He is going to realize that learning is something that allow to see the world in a different way, that nothing is acquired, we can learn every single day during all our life. And after all that, he will learn to love and will find the true one, a love that you cannot gain with money, or glory neither power.
This movie is a total success and reflects a style of movie that almost disappear nowadays. There is no dirty jokes, swearword or naked woman in it. I see this film like a fable, simple, honest. Harold Ramis tells us a good story, funny and full of feelings. It is with movie like this that you realize that sexes, violence or special effects are not really necessary to make people dreaming. Sincerity, honesty and creativity it is all that matter.
Moreover, you have to realize that the concept is simple, live the same day again and again, the principle of the time loop has been re-used after this movie a lot of time in other production in the theater or on TV (Edge of tomorrow recently, but also TV show like supernatural, stargate, and the list could be longer). In some sort of way, this 20 years old movie was a precursor about this concept 🙂

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In summary, this movie is relatively philosophical and seduce a lot of people when it was release, gaining almost six time the investment which is really a lot for a movie of this period, and it stay cult and a reference since more than twenty years in the all world (i am still a big fan).
I really recommend this movie and give him a grade of 17/20, it is really a good quality and does not getting old and could fit to every generation.
This movie is like a reflexion about life, and the meaning of it.

Enjoy 😉
Desmond A. Green
PS. Do not hesitate to let comments, start discussions and say what you are thinking about this movie 😉

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