Spike Jonze is impish, youthful, awkward, inventive, creative, curious,sensitive, geeky, self-absorbed. Yes or no? Well, I don’t know the guy personally but if he was making his own internet dating profile, would he describe himself in such terms? Or would he just scrap the profile, simply provide links to his online inamorata so they could view his cinematic resume online? Would they have a fuller grasp of Jonzes’ personality having viewed his four features to date? Four features in 15 years.
in that period, he’s also produced Jackass and it’s several big screen spinoffs, continued to direct music videos and short films and even turned up as an occasional actor in moneyball and most recently as a geeky type in the Wolf of Wall Street. A restless and productive guy it seems. But who is he? Well, all of his films focus on some very modern anxieties; his protags feel trapped in their own minds, aching for connection, brittle insecure creative types prone to morbid self-reflection.</
Her is Spike Jonze first solo original screenplay credit and it seems that he is burrowing nay disappearing ever deeper into his own psyche. The film is an often quite narrow view of a possible utopia, personalizing a future landscape that is tastefully uniform and it’s population seems to thrive. It’s a Los Angeles of sleek architectural surfaces, utilitarian design and geek chic attire; an optimistic, aspirational vision seemingly worlds apart from the pessimistic, industrialized LA nightmare of Ridley Scott’s iconic Blade Runner.
The great Joaquin Phoenix’s inhabits a character named Theodore Twombly who works as a handwritten letter writer (!) living in a spacious, minimalist apartment who falls in love with an operating system, embodied by the voice of Scarlett Johansson.