Marjorie Prime is adapted from a play, and never quite loses that stagnant veneer even as the director tries to steer us into open fields. His depictions of the world around the house are beautiful, albeit like arthouse versions of a stylized music video (vibrantly blue surf in the ocean, wheat sheafs blowing in the wind). If that sounds derisive, it's not...entirely. There's a moment where Marjorie is sitting in the pool that is sublime enough to overpower anything else. And there's another moment where we get a close-up of Geena Davis' face, who plays Marjorie's daughter, that almost makes this film adaptation worth it.
But otherwise, we can't quite shake the feeling that at the end of the movie, there should be some sort of dimming of lights and a curtain drawn. Other than that, it's cleverly written as director Michael Almereyda navigates Jordan Harrison's play about our construction of memory, and the idea of a shared memory, or an abolished one. Painful memories shape us as much as good events, and to disavow them means an alteration of character.
Marjorie Prime is a sparse film that relies on the sonata of four characters. Filming reportedly took 12 days, and it can feel more like an exercise in acting or a more restrained Black Mirror episode. It is interesting to see the deviations Almereyda takes from the one room, such as the one flashback he allots each character throughout the film. Although Marjorie is not a movie about technical fallacies, we can see that memory construction is fickle and also how each character's interaction with the hologram (or their memories) takes them away from intimacy of those around them.
Cinematographer Sean Price Williams and composer Mica Levi do some lovely, stirring work here, as usual. However, although Almereyda's take is at turns thought-provoking, his film doesn't really do enough to justify its adaptation, nor will it hold in memory as long as the holograms do.