The Vermont Cynic

‘Her’ takes top honor


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Around 70 minutes into Spike Jonze‘s “Her,” two principal characters have sex for the first time. 

It’s an intense rush of feeling, full of desire, surprise and instinct. The movie fades to black as the two come down from their high, and transitions back into an angelic, silent view of a city skyline at night. 

The message is this: Everyone on this earth falls in love at some point in life, sometimes more than once; but, when it happens to you, the rest of the world doesn’t matter.

“Her” follows a man who installs a hyper-intelligent operating system on his computer and falls in love with it. 

That’s the film stripped to its core; its principal question proposed when Theodore-Joaquin Phoenix-asks a friend if she thinks he’s in love with his computer because he can’t handle a real relationship: “Is it not a real relationship?”

“Her” has more questions to ask, though. 

It exists in a future not yet known to us, but it’s about trauma as old as love itself: divorce, heartbreak, loneliness and the eternal search for another voice to guide us, laugh when we laugh and cry when we cry. To hear us say, “I love you,” and have it echo back to us.

This is the truest piece of science fiction in a long time. 

No modern love story more accurately represents the world we live in, and the way technology has warped the way we connect with one another. 

“Her” is a brutally funny film at times, but I’m sure we will look at it in many years and laugh for different reasons.

I have no doubt that “Her” was the best film of 2013. No other was smarter, softer or more sincere than this one.

 This is a film about the future, but the world we live in today is tense, intimidating, stressful and psychotic. We lose pieces of ourselves in the chaos. 

What radiates from “Her” is the idea that we can evolve and learn from our mistakes.

Sometimes things fall apart, and sometimes people disconnect from one another. 

The transcendent final frame of “Her” suggests that all that matters is that we find someone we can connect with -if only for a moment_-and breathe in this air together. We won’t be here forever. 

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‘Her’ takes top honor