A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of unconditional love. The strength of a parent's love for a child, but also the potential dangers therein. Medical ethics surrounding reproductive rights and cloning are also discussed.
Positive Role Models
Both parents are loving and protective of Zoe. But also use their near obsessive behavior toward her to hurt each other following a divorce. A scientist is shown to prioritize his own ego and emotions above medical and legal ethics.
Violence & Scariness
There are aggressive verbal altercations, including slight physical struggles. Medical scenes include a child in a coma and miscarriages -- blood is seen on bed sheets. (Spoiler alert) A child dies after falling ill.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Infrequent references to sex.
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Occasional language includes "f--k," "f--ked," "bulls--t," and "Christ."
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Products & Purchases
There is discussion of the costs surrounding reproductive procedures.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mention of drugs in a medical context, including kid's medicine and hormone injections.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Zoe is an intense drama that deals with adult themes such as serious illness, death, and medical ethics. Isabelle (Julie Delpy) and James (Richard Armitage) are a divorced couple who frequently argue in an aggressive manor -- usually related to their six-year-old daughter, Zoe, of whom they share custody. There is infrequent strong language, such as "f--k" and "f--king." There is only occasional sexual references, but some are crude with strong language used. A character suffers a miscarriage -- with blood seen on her bed sheets -- which may be difficult viewing for some. (Spoiler alert) Zoe ends up in a coma and eventually dies. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Julie Delpy's seventh feature is a shift from her more romcom focused hits 2 Days in Paris and 2 Days in New York, taking a much darker dramatic tone that is both determined and a touch unrelenting. My Zoe centers on a mother's grief -- Delpy not only writes and directs, but also stars as Isabelle -- with the film providing a showcase for Delpy's sensitive and realistic portrayal of the extreme and not entirely rational lengths a parent will go to in order to save their child. Armitage is powerful as the grieving father, whose pain and anger about their divorce is permanently bubbling beneath the surface.
Scenes in the hospital seem never-ending at times, but Delpy doesn't shy away from the subject matter to put entertainment first. A shift in tone toward the end ventures into sci-fi territory in terms of plot, yet the style remains the same -- almost brutal in its visual realism, complete lack of score, and refusal to ease up on the issues. An intense drama, convincingly acted and directed with a confident restraint, My Zoe is an intriguing film that marks Delpy as a bold and accomplished filmmaker.
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