On the third anniversary of keithlovesmovies, check out my review of the best movie I’ve reviewed on the site so far. It’s one of my first ones so I apologize in advance. (original review)
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a sensitive, caring, man who currently writes personal letters for other people. When his marriage ends, he becomes heartbroken and is slow and hesitant to start a new relationship with someone. Soon after this, he becomes interested in a new operating system which can develop into an intuitive and unique entity. When he starts the operating system, he chooses a female voice (Scarlett Johansson) which names itself “Samantha”. Over time, Theodore learns that Samantha is a sensitive, kind, and understanding entity. They start off as friends but their relationship quickly develops into something more.
I felt bad when I saw the film for the first time last year because I fell asleep and I rarely fall asleep in movie theaters. I still liked what I saw then. It took a while but I thought I’d see it again and talk about it now.
The first thing you’ll notice here is how beautiful this film looks. From the color palettes used in the indoor and outdoor settings and the use of lighting and glass give it a warm and open feel. The score is just as beautiful as the set design as it helps you feel all the things that you are seeing. Also the cinematography is on par with the production design as each shot really captured the beauty created in the set design and the frequent use of close-up shots captured the emotion in the actor’s performances and I thought elevated them. The film does have some science-fiction elements obviously but it doesn’t overdo them and the fact that it doesn’t reveal when it actually takes place makes it feel grounded and more realistic. I also liked the script. It told a story that was both believable and realistic which would of worked even if the main love interest was an actual person.
The story had a good balance where it was emotional at times, funny at other times but it was always witty and made you think. Its approach to human interaction was natural and real. I thought the story was quite original, back in 2013, and nothing has come close to that yet. It is a social commentary on the the nature of what it means to be human by showing us what it means to love or be alive and also how these influence human relationships. The performances are what sold me here. Joaquin Phoenix gave a strong performance, sensitive performance as Theodore and I thought he really carried the film even though most of it is just him talking to Samantha from his cellphone. Scarlett Johansson was great as well as Samantha as she made her feel like a real person and you would forget that she isn’t actually on screen. I would also like to mention Amy Adams and Chris Pratt were also great in minor roles. I thought it was the best movie of 2014 (I know its technically a 2013 film) and I was surprised it didn’t win more than what it did. I can easily say that this is one of my favorite movies of all time and that it could beat all of the movies I’ve seen this year.