When they expanded the best picture field a few years ago, some believed that it would lead to more blockbusters being considered. But if anything, it seems to have secured spots for beloved directors of offbeat films — including, most certainly, Spike Jonze's Her.
This year, we wanted to look back at the nine best picture nominees and remind ourselves — and you — that reactions to film are complicated, hilariously varied, and wonderfully individual. So we looked over every comment for every nominee at RottenTomatoes.com, and we brought you some of our favorites. We'll be rolling these out between now and the Oscars, and after Tuesday's discussion of American Hustle, we move on to a pro-con debate over Her. (Many thanks to my dear pal Bob Mondello and rad NPR Multimedia whizzes Claire O'Neill and Kainaz Amaria. As you will see as these unfold, we had a lot of fun.) (It's been pointed out to me that one of the reviews mentions one of the twists and turns of the romantic plot, so if you don't want to hear about it, you can wait — but I assure you, it is only one of many twists and turns.)
Bob's sincere Internet movie review: Joaquin Phoenix generates more heat than you might expect playing opposite Scarlett Johansson's voice in this intriguing post-Siri, techno love story. Spike Jonze's romance gets at big questions with wit and enormous feeling.
Linda's sincere Internet movie review: This is a deeply moving, very odd, intensely thought-provoking film. One of the few that stuck with me persistently ever since I saw them, Her is well worth lots and lots of conversation.
Know your stuff before Oscars day!