Mike Fleming

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Spike Jonze’s HER, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night Gala presentation for the upcoming 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13).

NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said, “Like many people I’ve come to expect great and surprising things from Spike Jonze, but HER is something altogether new in cinema. To discuss even a little bit of the plot – let’s just say that it’s about lonely people and artificial intelligence – is to deprive first-time viewers of the opportunity of discovering it themselves. The tone is magical, the freedom of the narrative is breathtaking, Joaquin Phoenix continues to be one of the most adventurous actors in movies, Rooney Mara and Amy Adams are unforgettable, Scarlett Johansson’s voice will break your heart, and so will this impossibly delicate, funny, daring movie.”

Written and directed by Jonze, HER is set in Los Angeles, in the near future and follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson), who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other. HER is an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world. The Warner Bros. Pictures film is set for a limited release on November 20.

Spike Jonze said, “I’m very excited that it’s a premiere in the city. The New York Film Festival is where we premiered our first movie and that’s really special. It was our first U.S. premiere of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and we had all our friends there and it feels so nice to come back to NYFF.”

Rose Kuo, the Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, said, “In dealing with tragi-comic pupeteers, renegade orchid growers, an island of wild things, or a man’s unique love affair, visionary film-maker Spike Jonze has shown himself to be the poet-laureate of our increasingly post-human world. Jonze’s extraordinary new film, HER, features Joaquin Phoenix who delivers an unforgettable, emotionally nuanced performance. We are delighted to feature HER as the Closing Night gala presentation of the 51st New York Film Festival.”

FilmLinc Daily Managing Editor Brian Brooks spoke with Jonze about HER, the film’s selection for NYFF’s Closing Night Gala and looking ahead to the debut of the film. That interview can be found at Filmlinc.com

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones also includes: Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.

NYFF previously announced Paul Greengrass’s CAPTAIN PHILLIPS as its Opening Night Gala selection and Ben Stiller’s THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY as its Centerpiece Gala selection.