Marjorie Prime. 2017. USA. Directed by Michael Almereyda. Screenplay by Almereyda, based on the play by Jordan Harrison. With Lois Smith, Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, Geena Davis. Digital projection. Courtesy of FilmRise. 98 min.
Michael Almereyda's Marjorie Prime, winner of this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance, is presented here in a special sneak preview. A provocative reworking of Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer Prize–nominated play, Almereyda’s latest is a philosophically and emotionally unsettling inquiry into artificial intelligence and the meaning of human identity and consciousness. A heartbreaking Lois Smith reprises her stage role as Marjorie, a woman with dementia whose memories, real and imagined, are rekindled in the company of a “Prime” (Jon Hamm), a hologram surrogate of her late husband in their early days of courtship. As her grown-up children, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins are unnerved by this potent technology, which seems to deny or erase traumatic experience—and even the value of family.