Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from Spike Jonze's Her. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Spike Jonze's anticipated feature Her will have its World Premiere as the Closing Night Gala Presentation of the upcoming New York Film Festival. The romantic sci-fi satrring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Scarlett Johansson will close the 51st edition of the event, which runs from September 27 – October 13.

Written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze, the film centers on Theodore Twombly (Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who lives in a near-future Los Angeles. Twombly, who is heartbroken by the recent end of a long relationship, makes a living writing touching, personal letters for others. He becomes intrigued, however, with a new “advanced operating system” that promises to be intuitive and unique in its own right. After initiating it, he meets “Samantha,” a bright female voice (Johansson) who proves insightful, sensitive, and even funny. Soon, their needs and desires flourish together and their friendship deepens into an eventual love.

“Like many people I’ve come to expect great and surprising things from Spike Jonze, but Her is something altogether new in cinema,” said NYFF Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones. “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.”

Added Film Society of Lincoln Center Executive Director Rose Kuo: “In dealing with tragi-comic pupeteers, renegade orchid growers, an island of wild things, or a man's unique love affair, visionary filmmaker 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.”

“I’m very excited that it’s a premiere in the city,” said Jonze, who spoke to FilmLinc Daily ahead of today's announcement. “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.”

Today's news follows on the heels of earlier announcements about the festival's Opening and Centerpiece films, both World Premieres as well. Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips will open NYFF on September 27, while Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will be its Centerpiece on October 5.

Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from Spike Jonze's Her. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

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; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound; and Marian Masone, FSLC Associate Director of Programming.

Subscription Packages and VIP Passes for the New York Film Festival are on sale now to Film Society Members. General Public tickets will go on sale September 8 after a Member pre-sale period. For more information about becoming a Film Society Member, click here.

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Past NYFF Closing Night Films:

1963 – Sweet and Sour (Jacques Baratier, France/Italy)
1964 – Mahanagar (Satyajit Ray, India)
1965 – Red Beard (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1966 – The War is Over (Alain Resnais, France/Sweden)
1967 – Far From Vietnam (Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Alain Resnais, and Agnès Varda, France)
1968 – The Fireman’s Ball (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1969 – Oh! What a Lovely War (Richard Attenborough, UK)
1970 – Tristana (Luis Bunuel, Italy/France/Spain)
1971 – Murmur of the Heart (Louis Malle, France/Italy/West Germany)
1972 – Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/France)
1973 – Badlands (Terrence Malick, USA)
1974 – The Phantom of Liberty (Luis Bunuel, France)
1975 – The Story of Adele H. (Francois Truffaut, France)
1976 – The Marquise of O (Eric Rohmer, West Germany/France)
1977 – That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Bunuel, Spain/France)
1978 – Violette (Violette Noziere) (Claude Chabrol, France/Canada)
1979 – The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1980 – The Last Metro (Francois Truffaut, France)
1981 – Man of Iron (Andrzej Wajda, Poland)
1982 – Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, West Germany)
1983 – Streamers (Robert Altman, USA)
1984 – Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, West Germany/France)
1985 – Chaos (Kaos) (Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Italy)
1986 – Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola, USA)
1987 – House of Games (David Mamet, USA)
1988 – Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou, China)
1989 – Breaking In (Bill Forsyth, USA)
1990 – The Nasty Girl (Paul Verhoeven, West Germany)
1991 – Homicide (David Mamet, USA)
1992 – Night and the City (Irwin Winkler, USA)
1993 – The Piano (Jane Campion, France/Australia)
1994 – Hoop Dreams (Peter Gilbert, Steve James, Frederick Marx, USA)
1995 – Carrington (Christopher Hampton, UK)
1996 – The People Vs. Larry Flint (Milos Forman, USA)
1997 – Live Flesh (Pedro Almodovar, Spain)
1998 – The Dreamlife of Angels (Erick Zonca, France)
1999 – Felicia’s Journey (Atom Egoyan, UK/Canada)
2000 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, Taiwan)
2001 – In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/France)
2002 – Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar, Spain)
2003 – 21 Grams (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, USA)
2004 – Sideways (Alexander Payne, USA)
2005 – Hidden (Cache) (Michael Haneke, France)
2006 – Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, Spain/Mexico)
2007 – Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, France)
2008 – The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, USA)
2009 – Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodovar, Spain)
2010 – Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, USA)
2011 – The Descendants (Alexander Payne, USA)
2012 – Flight (Robert Zemeckis, USA)