This year’s mainstream films seem to be worse than usual – with the exception of the powerful Fruitvale Station (which is unfairly not getting much award buzz) and the charged and brilliantly-acted Philomena (which is getting some.)
Everyone’s talking about Her, about a guy falling in love with a computer operating system. When I saw the poster with dozens and dozens of awards noted already, I figured there must be something to it. 126 excruciatingly long minutes of it. This movie ought to get a special Oscar for the Most Long-Winded Film of the Decade. I nominate Joaquin Phoenix for the least appealing, most awkward, least convincing actor of the year. I suggest that director Spike Jonze fire his editor – who was clearly asleep on the job. And someone ought to check why the writer – oops that’s Spike Jonze as well – repeated himself endlessly.
This was, to be as generous as I possibly can, a script that might have supported a short film for a high school senior film class. This was a short story diluted and expanded into a pale and ponderous saga. This film sucks.
Phoenix is so slug-like that only a digital program could love him. We have him delivered in every single shot – either a close-up of his pouting puss or a longer view of him walking uneasily towards the camera, over and over again. This movie has no redeeming social value. It has no new idea. It has Amy Adams, but so does every other film in the last year or two. It has Scarlett Johansson – or rather it has her voice. I would rather have spent this 126 minutes that are lost forever at the dentist office. At least my dentist is sincere and attractive and the pain only lasts for an hour.