Tag Archives: movies

Love story has unconventional digital twist

Spike Jonze created a piece so profound and thought-provoking, not winning the gold for either Best Picture or Best Original Screenplay would be an Academy mistake. There definitely were some Oscar snubs this year, but “Her” is among the well-deserved film nominations.

“Her” is the complex story of the imaginative, professional letter composer, Theodore Twombly, who upon divorce finds himself in an unusual romance with his new, advanced computer intelligence operating system, Samantha.

Although “Her” is in the not-so-far-off future, it’s hardly science fiction in relation to present day humanity and the always evolving world of technology.

Joaquin Phoenix does wonders at capturing the realism of Theodore. Jonze said during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Redditt, upon meeting Phoenix, that he knew right away he wanted him in his movie.

What may originally trigger creepy and weird vibes coming from the odd situation Theodore becomes wrapped into, the audience becomes attached to his character as we see his true and beautiful sensitive soul open up to those around him.

The most intriguing relationship is the one Theodore develops with Samantha.

Samantha, who was originally voiced by Samantha Morton, was recasted and in the film is voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Recasting could have perhaps made all the difference in the success of this film. Samantha is more than a voice.

It’s a shame the Academy looked past Johansson’s voice in this supporting role, because her warm, sultry, perfectly sounding voice added a whole layer of color to this film.

Trying to understand Samantha is a true concept, but she is a wonderfully complex character, filled with fears, unsaid thoughts that always turn into transparent feelings and growth in more than one way.

“Samantha is the most dynamic female character I’ve seen in any movie from the last 10 years and she doesn’t even have a body,” senior Brea Ribeiro said.

Although Samantha is only virtually there, verbally Johansson makes it feel so real.

“This film shows us that we can’t fully develop female characters because of the emphasis on the sexualization of women’s body,” Ribeiro said.

In “Her,” we see a common theme of sadness shaded in different lights from all the characters.

We see this in the opening monologue from Theodore, the sadness sometimes heard in Samantha’s voice mirrored through Theodore’s own melancholy life. We see this in Theodore’s flashbacks of his ex-wife, zoomed in on the highs and lows of their past relationship, and we see sadness in the good friend and coworker Amy, played by Amy Adams, as she finally decides to let go of something that was never there.

Special Lovincey / Columnist

Special          Lovincey      can                 be                   reached        at

Movie trilogy full of twists and suspense

An Australian film director, Baz Luhrmann, created a three-piece masterpiece that defies the linear model of traditional Hollywood films. In Luhrmann’s visionary three-piece work entitled, “The Red Curtain Trilogy,” three separate stories are created to achieve a “heightened reality” in a way that wraps the viewers into the many characters, stories and relationships of this collection.

The trilogy is comprised of the first three films Luhrmann directed, including “Strictly Ballroom” (1992), William Shakespeare’s “Romeo + Juliet” (1996) and “Moulin Rouge” (2001).

The first of the trilogy, “Strictly Ballroom,” is the story revolving around Scott Hastings, a young and talented ballroom dancer who breaks the traditional steps of ballroom dancing, and defies the “strictly ballroom” expectations. Not only did Luhrmann direct “Strictly Ballroom,” he also co-wrote this film. “Strictly Ballroom” still holds its own among the trilogy and other popular Luhrmann films.

Next in the trilogy is “Romeo + Juliet,” the classic William Shakespeare tragedy of star-crossed lovers. Luhrmann’s reimagining of this classic story, keeps to the words of Shakespeare but set in modern day.

The famous characters are the same timeless creations, but with more relation to a contemporary audience. Though the Shakespearean dialogue isn’t fitting to the late 20th century set and costumes, it fits well in Luhrmann’s visioning because it adds dynamic to the film.

The last of the trilogy is “Moulin Rouge,” another colorful work of Luhrmann. This modern-day musical tells the story of an English penniless writer, Christian, who goes to Paris to become a bohemian revolutionary.

In his adventures of creating the perfect story he falls in love with Satine, the principal entertainer at the Moulin Rouge.

All of Luhrmann’s films have distinctive zany characters that add to the theatrical feel of his work. Another aspect of many of his films is the repetition of lines that is a distinct characteristic of the theatre. The trilogy is a different type of filmmaking.

The use of color plays a vital part in all Luhrmann’s work. In “Strictly Ballroom,” the vibrant colors are a reflection of the time-period. In addition, Luhrmann’s color schemes in all his films add to the dramatization of his theatrical vision.

Luhrmann is anything but traditional. His vision, with the use of the songs in “Moulin Rouge,” iambic pentameter as such in “Romeo + Juliet,” and dance sequences in “Strictly Ballroom” all add to the theatre-inspired feel of his films. He uses old techniques and new techniques that add to the altered reality of his work.

Luhrmann is able to portray the characters in an abstract manner with the use of lighting and angles.

Some scenes may be very dark where the viewer can barely see the faces of the actors and some shots of these actors may also be tight, up close, face shots.

Take the antagonist of “Moulin Rouge,” the Duke, who is controlling and a bit of a hothead. Many shots of his face are at abstract angles that portray his vile personality up close, in a way that truly embodies his character.

Luhrmann said in an interview about future projects, “what else could we possibly do as a follow-up?”

Special Lovincey / Columnist

Special Lovincey can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.