For his post-Mad Men career, Jon Hamm has taken on a number of unconventional big-screen roles, be it a secret agent living in suburbia in Keeping Up With the Joneses or a psychotic bank robber working for Kevin Spacey’s crime boss in this summer’s Baby Driver. He’ll be taking on arguably his most distinctive role to date, however, this Friday, when he stars opposite Lois Smith in Marjorie Prime, a weighty sci-fi indie from acclaimed director Michael Almereyda. In advance of that bow, we have an exclusive sneak peek from the film that underlines the unique dynamic driving its drama.
In Marjorie Prime, Smith plays an 86-year-old widow in failing health who’s chosen to spend her last days in the company of her dead husband — a trick accomplished via a breakthrough service that lets one visit with a hologram version of deceased relatives (constructed from the living’s recollections of them). As the above clip makes clear, Smith’s long-gone spouse (i.e., her “Prime”) is embodied by Hamm, who here claims to “remember” her fondness for entertaining, and then questions her about the home’s absence of dirty dishes — which seems to hint at an underlying issue she’s hiding. It’s a strangely tense sequence, and one that speaks to the film’s novel inquiry into the nature of memory, and the way in which people construct versions of the past that best suit their present circumstances.
Also starring Geena Davis and Tim Robbins, and following a well-received premiere at January’s Sundance Film Festival, Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime arrives in theaters this Friday. You can see our exclusive clip from the film above.
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