'Her' Oscar deep dive
Run time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
DVD release date: Unknown
Box office: Domestic — $23.5 million, Foreign — $4.1 million
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent
Her movie math: (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind + Smart House) x (Like Crazy + Lost in Translation)
Tweetable description: A man and his wife break up and he turns to his sultry-voiced OS for love — and finds it.
What Chris Nashawaty said : “Jonze’s satiric, brave-new-world premise is undeniably clever, but it’s also a bit icy emotionally. He clearly has a lot on his mind about how seductive technology is and how much easier life would be if we could insulate ourselves from messy human emotions. But in the end, those ideas end up appealing to your head more than your heart.”
Number of Oscar nods: 5 — Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Original Song for Karen O’s “The Moon Song,” Best Production Design, Best Original Screenplay
Her‘s Oscar history: Her writer and director Spike Jonze got a Best Director nod for 1999’s Being John Malkovich. Producer Megan Ellison is in the Best Picture running with not only Her, but also American Hustle, and she was part of the team nominated for their work with Zero Dark Thirty, when the film was nominated for Best Picture last year.
What it has won thus far: Jonze’s screenplay has fared well: It’s won 13 different awards, including a Golden Globe last month.
Why it should win: Her is a look at our future — not too subtle, but also not so overwhelmingly out-there that we can’t connect with it. That’s an accomplishment in itself. But more than that, it’s a new kind of love story that veers away from Notebook-like sentimentality in favor of just plain, raw emotion. It’s enjoyable to watch (the colors! the music! the voices!), and it makes you honestly consider humans’ relationship with technology.
Why it shouldn’t win: At its core, Her is a story about heartbreak and love, and that’s relatable to anyone. But it’s also a movie about heartbreak and love, which seems trivial compared to some of the other nominees — say Dallas Buyers Club or 12 Years a Slave — that revolve around life-or-death drama and use individuals to show how they were affected by real-life, widespread issues like AIDS and slavery. It’s hard to say that what is essentially a romantic comedy deserves to win when those are its competitors.
Vegas Odds: 150/1, according to Las Vegas Sports Betting
Best line: Anything the hilarious foul-mouthed video game alien says. Plus, when Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) shares his totally understandable fear: “Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel, and from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.”
Worst line: When Theodore tells his friend Amy (Amy Adams) that he’s dating his OS and when he gets self-conscious about it, she replies: “I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.” Sure, it’s a cute line, but it also sounds like something you’d see written over a “romantic” photo on Tumblr. Pass.