No-one said parenthood was easy, not least when your profession demands countless hours away from your kid. Stuck in a bitter divorce and having to balance her career as a geneticist with childcare responsibilities, Isabelle (Julie Delpy) turns to Magda (Tijan Marei) for help, though at a cost. After a sustained head injury, young Zoe (Sophia Ally) falls into a coma, leaving Isabelle to make that all-important decision as to how far she is willing to go to resuscitate her child.
Julie Delpy takes centre stage in this melodrama about marital life and the moral ties that bind us. My Zoe feels like two films in one. The first half has a dysfunctional element to it – two individuals fighting for the custody of their daughter and failing to come to a consensus – while the second half pushes the narrative into the sci-fi / psychological thriller domain through its introduction of cloning and the ethics behind it. There are many questions to be asked at this point, some of which are not fully addressed, resulting in the story losing a great proportion of the truthfulness that it had slowly been accumulating. The issue with having a major plot twist so far into the narrative is that the pacing is compromised and the ending is rushed, giving viewers less opportunity to digest and connect with the material they are viewing. My Zoe follows this pattern, especially in the last fifteen minutes.
Delpy’s performance is credible. As the director she conveys the broken family unit very well. Nobody can fault a mother for wanting what is best for her child, but there is a limit to all this, a line that should never be crossed. After all, no amount of cloning can bring back the same child that mama once loved.
My Zoe is released digitally on demand on 5th October 2020.
Watch the trailer for My Zoe here: