In this intriguing film, the talented Julie Delpy tackles the thorny subjects of a bitter divorce, the life-threatening illness of a young child and some of the moral questions of modern science.
Delpy, best known for light romances such as the trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, not only wrote the script and directed My Zoe but also played the demanding leading role of Isabelle, a dedicated scientist and mother of young Zoe (a delightful Sophia Ally).
For Isabelle and her ex-husband James (Richard Armitage), Zoe is the light of their lives. But their relationship is marked by constant wrangling over everything from pick-up times for Zoe to Isabelle’s focus on her career.
Suddenly a crisis with Zoe’s health throws their spiteful bickering into insignificance.
It seems a playground fall has caused bleeding in her brain and she is in a coma. In the hospital, they agonise as they wait and hope for news. Delpy handles these stressful scenes with delicacy and skill.
Later, Isabelle flies to Moscow to seek help from a colleague, Dr Thomas Fischer (Daniel Bruhl), a specialist at the forefront of scientifically challenging research.
He and his wife Laura sympathise with Isabelle but they doubt he can do anything to ease her suffering.
This part of the film is less convincing, and the final scene is unexpected and somewhat unsettling.
My Zoe is now showing at Luna Leederville.
Watch the trailer…