Her (2013)

Director: Spike Jonze
Writer: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin PhoenixScarlett JohanssonAmy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Bill HaderOlivia Wilde, Soko, Brian Cox

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has been leading a rather solitary life since he separated from his girlfriend Catherine (Rooney Mara), mostly occupied with work – writing personal letters for other people. Then he gets a new AI OS for his phone. And that OS – Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) quickly becomes a huge part of his life to the point where Theodore falls in love with her.

Her is a beautiful movie with great performances though I wasn’t quite as blown away by it as I expected to be. Nevertheless it is rather wonderful.


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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Where the Wild Things Are is the newest movie by Spike Jonze based on the book by Maurice Sendak. The movie was written by Jonze and Dave Eggers and stars Max Records, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Chris Cooper, Lauren Ambrose and Mark Ruffalo.

Max (Max Records) is a lonely child full with fantastic [in the original sense] ideas. One day, after getting into a fight with his mother (Catherine Keener), Max runs from the house in a frenzy. He stumbles upon a boat which takes him to a land inhabitated by huge monsters. After they threaten to eat him, Max becomes their king and befriends them, especially Carol (James Gandolfini). But all is not well there, either.

Where the Wild Things Are is perfect. The look, the feel, the script, the actors, the music… it’s absolutley wonderful. The only caveat: They shifted the target demographic from preschooler to anyone older than ten.
[If that wasn’t warning enough, there’s going to be some serious gushage in this post.]

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Adaptation. (2002)

[And we’ve entered the Viennale programme. If I continue in this manner, I’ll probably be up to date by the end of this year…]

Adaptation. is Spike Jonze‘ movie adaptation based on Susan Orlean‘s book The Orchid Thief. The script was written by Charlie Kaufman and it stars Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, (in a very small role) Tilda Swinton and (in an even smaller role) Maggie Gyllenhaal.

At the end of the shoot of Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) is trying to get his new project going – an adaptation of Susan Orlean’s (Meryl Streep) book The Orchid Thief. The Orchid Thief is about John Laroche (Chris Cooper), a strangely charismatic florist/thief/survivalist. Just as Susan is pulled into Laroche’s story, the only way Charlie seems to get things going is by writing himself into the story. Especially since his twin brother Donald (Nicolas Cage) decided he wants to be a screenwriter as well and does so with more easy and apparently more success than Charlie.

If that plot summary sounds a little confusing, I’m sorry. But I think that every summary of this film will end in confusion – though the movie itself is rather easy to follow. If you can handle self-referentialism. [If you feed on it, like I do, you’re going to love this movie.] In any case, Adaptation. is very funny, well-played and weird. In a very good way.

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