‘Her’ a conventional look at a virtual relationship

Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Her’

Who is Her?

In the most literal sense, I suppose she is an operating system that goes by the name Samantha, a futuristic computerized program that takes an important place in the life of ordinary guy Theodore Twombly.

But Her might also refer to any woman who comes into Theodore’s life, because he clearly hasn’t figured out how to understand and relate to the opposite sex. He’s the main character of “Her,” the new film by Spike Jonze, and he’s played by Joaquin Phoenix in a technically tricky performance.

The setting is the near future, and things look different — in a wonderfully visualized way. Los Angeles is a city of elevated sidewalks and soulless towers (an effect created in part by shooting in Shanghai), men wear pants without belts, and the streets are full of people more engaged by their personal devices than by the world around them.

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