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NEW YORK - I'm somewhat torn as to whether to communicate just how awkward my interview with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams was for Spike Jonze's masterful "Her" last month. Our video editing team did a wonderful job of making it seem less so, but let's just say that Mr. Phoenix lived up to his well deserved reputation. It's one reason you hear a lot more from the wonderfully charming Ms. Adams in the interview embedded at the top of the post than the movie's leading man. Granted, we were able to discuss a bit about Jonze's vision of a future Los Angeles and the changes to the project through production, but it certainly wasn't what I'd hoped for when I walked in the interview room. Certainly not for a film that ended up at no. 9 on my top ten list of 2013.
Maybe you'll see the seams of what we cut out or maybe you won't, but the most important thing is that you take the time to see "Her." The futuristic romance is expanding nationwide on Friday and it deserves to be seen on the big screen. It's arguably the best film of Jonze's impressive career and - fingers crossed - will make Oscar's Best Picture cut a week from Thursday. Even if it doesn't, you cannot miss out on Jonze's singular creation and its remarkable ensemble including Phoenix, Adams, a somewhat unheralded Rooney Mara and, of course, the enchanting vocal talents of Scarlett Johansson
Like the best of cinema, and there's been a few great examples of this over the past few months, "Her" sticks with you long after you've left the theater. So, whether you're planning your weekend around NFL playoff games or not, grab your her or him and make time for "Her." I can promise you Phoenix's performance on screen is much more engaging than his behavior in the interview above. Trust me.
"Her" is now playing in limited release. It opens nationwide on Friday.