Marjorie Prime

Film, Science fiction
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Marjorie Prime

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

In a future when death is defeated by nearly perfect holograms, mourners still grapple with pain and emptiness in Michael Almereyda's chatty, thoughtful drama.

Based on an elegantly chilly Pulitzer-nominated play by ‘Orange Is the New Black’ writer Jordan Harrison, ‘Marjorie Prime’ is science fiction without the spaceships and aliens: you won’t miss them. It concerns a future in which our deceased loved ones are able to sit with us via holographic projections, products of artificial intelligence come to semi-life. Of course, the process isn’t perfect: Jon Hamm (always a little twitchy in his eerie handsomeness) is well cast as Walter, a facsimile of the dead husband of scowling octogenarian Marjorie (Lois Smith, repeating her nuanced off-Broadway triumph). Through her haze of forgetfulness, she still knows this isn’t quite real.

Director Michael Almereyda (maker of the Ethan Hawke-starring ‘Hamlet’) is most comfortable probing the underbelly of leisurely chats, so he’s perfect for what amounts to a feature-length conversation about the fragility of memory. Though visually spare and undistinguished, the movie gets revelatory mileage out of Geena Davis – just as brainy and bruised as she was in her heyday – as Marjorie’s bitter daughter, in need of some post-mortem therapy of her own. It’s a film that doubles and trebles in complexity as it dives inward to a place of strange intimacy, one that’s a lot like Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’: manufactured, yes, but no less affecting for its desperation. ν Joshua Rothkopf

Details

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday November 10 2017
Duration:
98 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Michael Almereyda
Screenwriter:
Michael Almereyda, Jordan Harrison
Cast:
Jon Hamm
Geena Davis
Tim Robbins
Lois Smith