Her ★★★★★

Rarely does a modern sci fi film compare with classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ghost In The Shell, Blade Runner, the original Terminator, The Matrix, Children of Men, and Gravity. What I like about all of these films and the reason why I rank 'Her' alongside them is that as fantastic as they are on the surface, the societies and technologies they speculate on have materialized or either they are very plausable --the future has arrived!

Just a few years ago, who could have imagined 3D printing machines, smartphones, and apps that are all but rebuilding and redifining society as we'd known it for hundreds and thousands of years--all of this technological advancement compressed into the equivalent of an elephant in an aspirin bottle? Two-thousand-eighteen would look very weird to someone from 2003.

Director Spike Jonze's 2013 film 'Her' is a metaphor for the growing trend of artificial relationships through its main character played by Joaquin Phoenix, who transitions organically from a cold failed marriage to a relationship with a software app named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). The barrier between human and computer program dissolves so naturally that their relationship seems more normal than the disconnected and often mechanical human relationships in the film.

What also makes this relationship feel practical is the contemporary set design, which removes a barrier separating its world from today's world. The relationships between Joaquin's character and the A.I. would feel more awkward had it taken place in a futuristic metropolis like the one depicted in Steven Spielberg's film A.!.

The acting in the film is top notch, particularly Scarlett Johansson in her role as Samantha. The eeriest scene in the film to me is the 1 where Samantha uses a human surrogate to vicariously experience making love with Joaquin's character. Phoenix is also excellent as well as supporting actors Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and Rooney Mara. At the 86th Academy Awards, Her won the award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for awards in 5 categories. Also, in a BBC poll 177 critics ranked Her the 84th greatest science fiction film ever. Anyway, this is a great film if you like intelligent, speculative science fiction relevant to the real world we now live in.