11 Years Ago, Joaquin Phoenix’s Sci-Fi Smash Available on Netflix Predicted Today’s Huge Trend

11 Years Ago, Joaquin Phoenix’s Sci-Fi Smash Available on Netflix Predicted Today’s Huge Trend
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The actor delivered one of his best performances in the visionary hit.


  • Back in 2013, Joaquin Phoenix starred in a drama about a man falling in love with an unbelievably smart woman, who, however, isn’t perfect for him.
  • This science fiction hit basically foresaw today’s realities.

Nowadays recognized mostly as the Joker actor from the accoladed 2019 banger movie and the upcoming Joker: Folie à Deux, Joaquin Phoenix has a lot of remarkable roles in his portfolio. The one in the 2013 science fiction drama can be considered to be his best performance, even though it was not the role for which he received his Oscar award.

The plot of this movie revolves around a lonely man, played by Phoenix, in the aftermath of the impending divorce with the love of his life. His boring life in the big futuristic Los Angeles instantly changes when he meets a wonderfully smart young woman.

She starts to chat with the main character and accompanies him everywhere, and their relationship gradually develops from friendship to obvious romantic attraction to each other. However, there is one severe obstacle on their way - she is not real.

11 Years Ago, Joaquin Phoenix’s Sci-Fi Smash Available on Netflix Predicted Today’s Huge Trend - image 1

Yeah, she appears to be a female virtual assistant with artificial intelligence, purchased by Phoenix’s character as a part of an operating system upgrade. Thus, they can only communicate online by voice, pictures and texts, and would never meet in reality.

The world shown in the movie perfectly correlates with our today’s realities, with the widespread development of AI and its growing usage not only as virtual helpers and tools for study and work, but also as online friends distracting from real-life troubles.

By the time the credits roll, this sci-fi feature makes us question the level of influence and intimacy we have with the technologies. 11 years ago, the movie’s computer heroine was only jokingly compared to Apple’s Siri, but these days, with OpenAI and ChatGPT used by people everywhere, such a dystopian setting doesn’t seem too far off.

Thus, this film appears to be visionary, as it perfectly guessed the way AI is developing now. Nevertheless, it has a lot of other outstanding things to offer, starting from Phoenix’s convincing performance, and remember that he needed to work with his co-star, Scarlett Johansson, without her being present on set physically.

Besides, this feature, titled Her, stands out due to its excellent work with colors and plot development, both being achievements of the filmmaker Spike Jonze. It all was praised by the public, which is reflected in its 95% of critical acclaim on Rotten Tomatoes.

Stream Her on Netflix to imagine how close the technologies will be with people after another decade since its release.