Whether someday soon we will all need (or get regardless) our own Primes is just one of the questions this likable but slightly anodyne movie raises yet doesn’t really run with. That may be a weakness in the play, and Almereyda, expertly juggling the tonal shifts between mordant and elegiac, keeps the faith. Those who admire the work of this bold innovator may be disappointed that he has muffled his own voice in the process.
While I’m not necessarily hypnotized by sci-fi themes and, uh, “meditations on memory,” I’m very interested in whatever Almereyda does — he’s still one of the most unpredictable and still somehow undervalued American filmmakers around. In customizing the play to include his interests and motifs, he’s made a movie that is, indeed, quite moving as a story about people processing loss — something that starts early in life and never ends. He’s also given his performers free rein to be their best.
The director’s previous film, the polarizing and fun as hell Experimenter, meticulously built a labyrinthine puzzle of deception and hidden meanings, whereas this film is less assured and more wrought; the android’s choice of pronouns, the theme of how memories change over time, and the structural arc emerge out of dialogue, not detail.
67 of 3 reviews