Our culture’s increasing reliance on technology has been a heavily utilised plot point in cinema for quite a while, the most prudent example being the Terminator franchise. With Her, Spike Jonze – here directing from his own script for the first time – has tackled the topic in a much more intimate fashion, and the result is a gloriously original and imaginative examination of love and human connection that, whilst perhaps not being ideal date-material, will have a wide appeal.
After a five-year hiatus, Paul Thomas Anderson follows up his Oscar-winning There Will be Blood (2007) with The Master (2012), an overly complex tale which is nonetheless magnificently acted and shot. The film begins and ends with Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a WWII veteran who is having difficulty adjusting to life after war. Mentally and emotionally disturbed, Freddie bounces around from one job to another, unable to find peace due to his violent outbursts and alcoholism. One night, Freddie sneaks his way onto a yacht belonging to Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), the founder of a radical new movement called ‘The Cause’.