With as many ways to communicate as there are ways to shut ourselves off from physical human interaction, it is not difficult to imagine a future like the one shown in Her. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a sensitive writer unable to move on after his wife (Rooney Mara) leaves him. He’s put off signing the divorce papers for a year. Unsatisfied with his self-isolation but unable to sate his emotional needs with actual people, he buys a new operating system that is designed to act like a human being, learning and adapting to suit the personality of its user. With a funny, flirtatious air and a seemingly genuine interest in Theodore’s well-being, the self-named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) is easy to like.
For one reason or another I kept missing this the few times it played near me, so I was glad to have a night off before Thanksgiving when I could finally watch it. Written and directed by Peter Strickland and set in the 1970s, Berberian Sound Studio tells the uncanny tale of Gilderoy (Toby Jones), an uptight British sound designer who is invited to work on a low-budget horror film in Rome. His talent is obvious, and he sets out making squishy slasher noises with watermelons and lettuce, but he remains uncomfortable with the type of film he’s working on, having had more experience with nature documentaries and the like.
Thor is never something I’ve had Big Opinions about but I like all those Marvel movies so I go to see them, you know? This time around the big guy (Chris Hemsworth) is hanging out in space or whatever, fighting aliens and sucking up to his benevolent dictator dad and pining for his brilliant earthbound girlfriend, Jane (Natalie Portman). Through the wonders of science she discovers a portal to other worlds and accidentally absorbs a destructive energy that makes her a target for a host of evil elves led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), who holds an old grudge against Asgard. Thor brings Jane to Asgard as Malekith is gearing up for war, planning to reclaim this mystery power from her.
When Anne (Mary Margaret O’Hara) finds herself stranded in snowy Vienna for an unknowable amount of time while visiting a comatose cousin, she drifts toward one of the city’s art museums, the Kunsthistorisches Museum. She befriends an aging guard, Johann (Bobby Sommer), who helps translate the hospital’s calls for her, and they quickly become friends out of mutual loneliness. He shows her around Vienna, and they share intimate stories about their experiences and relationships. They spend a lot of time at the museum, and Johann narrates his observations as a guard.
Once a cool and unmotivated teen who just wanted to have fun all the time, Gary King (Simon Pegg) is now a lonely addict who just wants to reclaim his glory days. He collects together his four best friends from high school- Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Stephen (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost)-, who are now all serious and hard-working regular people, for one night of drinking and debauchery in their hometown.