Usually the big awards-season push for film critics groups, Golden Globes and the Oscars doesn’t start until much later in the year, but the film distributor FilmRise is already announcing it plans an autumn campaign for veteran Steppenwolf ensemble member Lois Smith. It’s all due to the huge reception her new film, “Marjorie Prime” received at the recent Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize — an award that specifically honors films that focus on science or technology as a key theme.
Directed by Michael Almeryeda, who also penned the screenplay based on his play, “Marjorie Prime” is a sci-fi tale set in the near future. Smith plays the 86-year-old title character, who spends time with the younger hologram likeness of her late husband Walter (played by Jon Hamm), as she deals with her struggles with dementia. The film also features Geena Davis and Tim Robbins, who portray Smith’s character’s daughter and son-in-law. The movie will be distributed in theaters by FilmRise later this year. It also will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Given Smith’s acclaimed, seven-decade career that includes memorable performances in such film classics as “East of Eden,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Twister,” it is hard to believe she has never received an Academy Award nomination.
Perhaps with “Marjorie Prime,” that will change this year!