In the movie equivalent of hitting a home run on a first at-bat, Spike Jonze won the Academy Award for original screenplay on Sunday for “Her,” the first feature film script he wrote on his own.
Jonze’s sci-fi romantic dramedy follows a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the disembodied voice of his computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It beat out nominees from “American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Nebraska.”
Jonze shared screenwriting credit on his last movie, “Where the Wild Things Are,” with novelist Dave Eggers, and Jonze's earlier films -- “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation” -- were written by Charlie Kaufman. Until now, Jonze was distinguished more for his quirkily singular aesthetic than for his ability to write dialogue.
The filmmaker's Oscar arrives on the heels of wins for the “Her” script at the Golden Globes and the WGA Awards. It has also been recognized by the Critics' Choice Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle. Although he was nominated for an Academy Award for directing (1999’s “Being John Malkovich”), Jonze’s Oscar for “Her” stands as his first.