Perhaps too keenly aware that Near Futurism in movies has a tendency to date quickly and badly, the speculative ecosystem of Her, Spike Jonze's fourth theatrical feature, is hedged to an incalculable degree. But its daftly retro-styled guess as to where our heads would be now, what we'd be wearing, and what consumer tech would pitilessly consume our waking hours, is clearly tailored to the introspective fussbudget Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix). As if by design, we discover that Jonze has executed a brilliant end run to thwart our protests regarding the inadequacy of his then-future vision: It was never about us, it was never going to be about our now. What lingers are the third-act revelations that scale machine-learned heartbreak to the suffocating terror previously wrought by the self-aware supercomputers in Colossus: The Forbin Project, to eclipse the subsequent, mellowed optimism.

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