In some ways, the upcoming sci-fi indie Marjorie Prime brings to mind Spike Jonze’s Her: Jon Hamm is a computer program whose personality and engagement is fine-tuned for one particular recipient, the titular Marjorie (Lois Smith). But the drama, adapted from Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, also invokes Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, specifically the episode “Be Right Back”: Hamm’s character is not just any artificial intelligence, but Walter, Marjorie’s late husband, helping her recover memories from their past together.
The movie also stars Geena Davis as Marjorie’s daughter and Tim Robbins as her husband. The official synopsis:
Eighty-six-year-old Marjorie spends her final, ailing days with a computerized version of her deceased husband. With the intent to recount their life together, Marjorie’s “Prime” relies on the information from her and her kin to develop a more complex understanding of his history. As their interactions deepen, the family begins to develop ever diverging recounts of their lives, drawn into the chance to reconstruct the often painful past.
Built around exceptional performances from a veteran cast, Marjorie Prime shines a light on an often-obscured corner in the world of artificial intelligence and its interactions with mortality. Bringing us robustly into the future, Michael Almaryeda’s poetic film forces us to face the question—If we had the opportunity, how would we choose to rebuild the past, and what would we decide to forget?
The film has already earned some buzz at the Sundance Film Festival, from winning the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize to using innovative VR technology to have attendees interact with a life-size hologram of Walter and get the full experience. Watch the trailer below:
Marjorie Prime comes to theaters in limited release August 18, with national rollout to follow.