My Zoe

5.91 h 41 min2021X-RayR
Following a divorce, geneticist Isabelle is trying to rebuild her life. She has a new boyfriend and plans to revitalize her career. But ex-husband James can't accept this and makes her life difficult in the custody battle for their daughter Zoe. When a tragedy strikes, the already broken family's world is shattered...and Isabelle decides to take the girl's fate into her own hands.
Julie Delpy
Julie DelpyDaniel BrühlGemma Arterton
Science FictionDrama
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Sophia AllyRichard ArmitageSaleh BakriKerem CanLindsay Duncan
Dominique BoutonnatHubert CaillardMalte GrunertAndrew LevitasGabrielle Tana
Blue Fox Entertainment
R (Restricted)
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4.0 out of 5 stars

53 global ratings

  1. 58% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 16% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

septimusReviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Delpy's most ambitious film as writer-director
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This is clearly the most somber and ambitious film directed and written by Julie Delpy. (_The Countess_, about the infamous Bathory who bathes herself in servant girls' blood, is pretty brutal too, but psychologically it is no match for this one!) Eschewing the comedy genre which she is so good at, _My Zoe_ gives Delpy the actress the tragic heroine role which she hasn't played in some time. She is astonishing in it -- it is a shame she did not win acting awards. The film is split into two uneven parts; the first concerns her idyllic life with her daughter and less-than-idyllic encounters with her ex-husband -- until an accident occurs. The second is the science fictionish story where cloning occurs. I wonder if Delpy chose the title _My Zoe_ to contrast with the amazon-produced _Zoe_ starring Lea Seydoux, also about human cloning. The latter is directed by a man and clones magically appear, antiseptic in the extreme. The cloning in _My Zoe_ is in contrast messy emotionally and physically, involving hormone injections, multiple miscarriages, tears, despair. The structure of the film invites comparison between the agony of losing a child in the first part, and that the pain of failing to get pregnant in the second. And that's why we should have more woman writer-directors, that's what art should be about -- giving us new perspectives. Women tend to be better directors of actresses too. Gemma Arterton is superb as a grown-up version of the sassy women she used to play; her presence in the opening credits foreshadows her crucial choice that decides the course of the film.

Let me address criticisms from others. (1) Delpy doesn't act like a scientist: really? I have known at least 100 female PhD scientists and no two of them are alike. (2) The male actor is "wooden": well you must really hate Ingmar Bergman's films. I struggle to remember a single male character in his films who is as lively as Dany Boon in Delpy's _Lolo_. In fact he scenes between Delpy and her ex are like Bergmansque marriage gladitorial combat; they draw blood, but are now told from a woman's point of view. And finally, (3) the film is not well written: I think the screenplay is admirably challenging and brave. Like many European films these days it has a novelistic structure, with two uneven parts that barely intersect: Ondaatje's _Divisadero_ is the perfect frame of reference. More American films should do this.

Above all, _My Zoe_ challenges us about bioethics (as some has said). Delpy's character has given the most eloquent and powerful argument for cloning ever. Why doesn't she get to
choose? In a week that a rogue state in the US has unilaterally imposed its extremist, fundamentalist vision of Sharia Law on its people and the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to protect our freedom, the debates sparked by this film are more urgent than ever.
10 people found this helpful
GiftbearerReviewed in the United States on September 28, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Powerful film that explores what it is that makes a soul/spirit
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When one thinks of cloning it is usually more physical attributes that come to mind, but this film delves into what makes a person who they are beyond just the physical or genetic material they are made of. At first one might think from the death of her daughter that this is a scientist mother's way of not accepting her daughter's passing, but as time goes on you find it goes much deeper than wanting to fill a void.

On the surface it may seem strange and a little nuts to want to do something like what the main character did but she actually expressed quite accurately what a clone is on an almost spiritual level. Those who have cloned animals describe it as creating something very similar with similar likes and dislikes, mannerisms, and ways, almost hauntingly familiar much in the way that a close relative has these similarities that are hard to put into words. They are not identical but have the same essence about them which makes sense given that they came from the same genetic material.

Those who thought this was badly written are missing the deeper significance of it what the writer was trying to portray in the way he presented the characters. It had an unusual writing style mixing sci fi with drama and spirituality, and also I think the reason the father and mother came across as wooden is because both of them were rather cerebral showing only occasional anger or sadness. Neither of them seemed like people particularly into children except for Zoe whom both were so devoted to that they fought over her and obsessed about every decision they made as parents. Though the mother was deeply involved in her demanding career it was clear that she had a special relationship with her daughter.

It was less clear what the father did for a living, but it was implied that he made less money and resented that and therefore took every opportunity he could to undermine her self-confidence because he was emotionally the more dependent one in the relationship. He still hoped to get back together with her long after she had moved on and found somebody else, but every attempt he made just ended up in an argument with him denigrating her (which was why they were getting divorced in the first place). She still cared about him as a person but was no longer in love with him and it seemed as though he really had nothing going for him and felt unable to build a support system outside of her. His alternating clinginess and antagonism juxtaposed against her rather cold and distant demeanor in return showed that the writer had developed their characters pretty well.

The boyfriend's character could have been developed a bit more though. He seemed like a nice and supportive guy, but we really didn't know much about him beyond that.

The woman who ended up with the new Zoe, I assume was a personal friend of the doctor's but her character also could have been developed more but instead her entry into the story seemed rushed and abrupt.

Other than these few minor flaws I think the movie was excellent, powerful, and made one think. It is timely, just as the previous poster pointed out, given what has been going on in Texas which is threatening women's choice over their reproductive rights; setting them back to what they were in the 1950s. This story presents an example and thus a good argument for why women should have the ultimate right to choose if, how, and when to have a child, or not to.
5 people found this helpful
linda galellaReviewed in the United States on October 4, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
This is a head and heart scratcher…
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MY ZOE made me think; made me think hard and question how incredibly wrong and on how many levels, Zoe’s mother was.

Zoe is an extremely intelligent, precocious 8 year old. Her parents are separated and have a combative, difficult relationship. Dad is hurt and trying to hurt mom back and mom is devoid of emotions other than an unhealthy preoccupation with Zoe. Yes, I think it is possible for parents to be too involved, too focused or obsessive with their children and such is the situation here.

Subtle symptoms that look like a cold or flu pop up in Zoe one afternoon. Mom, the immunologist, checks
her out but there’s no fever. She tucks her in early going thru the usual bed time routine and heads off for a quiet evening in the next room with her boyfriend. The next morning, Zoe is in a coma, having regurgitated over night sometime, they call and ambulance for assistance and head off to the hospital. In a short while they learn she’s got a massive brain bleed and needs immediate surgery, which happens.

Bad goes to worse and half the movie is spent in the hospital with these two parents trying to fix blame on each other, themselves, teachers, the nanny, ANYWHERE they can just to find an answer of some kind. Once it’s clear Zoe isn’t going to survive, mom turns her attention to methods of preserving her, recreating her, cloning her after reading a professional article about an highly suspect protocol and doctor she’d met a few years ago at a conference.

By subterfuge of nearly everyone, mom the immunologist, convinces the fringe OBGYN/Infertility/Clone specialist to help her recreate Zoe. Because she’s devoid of emotions, she’s also apparently without a moral compass and the only person in this film not burdened by the pursuit of cloning her daughter. As a viewer, I was rattled by everything she did: ethnically, morally, legally and above all, spiritually.

Is this film worth watching? I think so, if for no other reason other than to have discussions with yourself or others you trust, about what you believe and why. This movie will get you thinking but it’s an unwieldy project that’s missing a score, has clunky dialogue, narrow scoped photography and worst of all, there’s not enough relationship development to support the storyline properly; too many pieces are missing from the puzzle.

This technology exists. We need clear rules before doctors are playing God and ordering up designer offspring for people with unlimited bank accounts🍿
5 people found this helpful
Red LionsReviewed in the United States on August 24, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not Sci-Fi, depressing and poorly written. Bad movie
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This is Not Sci-Fi. This is suppose to be about a mother trying to clone/bring back her dead daughter but instead spends most of the time in the hospital waiting for the daughter to die with the parents arguing about completely irrelevant issues. Absolutely no interest in the parent's arguments. Whoever wrote this movie must have just gone through a broken relationship. The rest of the movie is more useless discussions about the ethics of cloning and not doing anything. I eventually gave up and stopped watching.
3 people found this helpful
Caitlin StuckerReviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
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What would you do for a second chance to hold your baby that you lost to an accident or something else would you be willing to take the risk of cloning the same cells that you had before this movie takes a look at that very questionable choice. I am still on the fence.
One person found this helpful
SunnyReviewed in the United States on September 18, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting story; script lacking
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I enjoyed the story, including the unexpected turn in the second half. Julie and cast gave excellent performances, and I appreciated the low-key background music. My main complaint is that the script/dialog just wasn't that engaging. Also, the end of the movie was a little too fanciful for me, and could have been fleshed out more, as there was a lot of areas/emotions which could have been explored.
TReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
goes from ultra depressing to ultra weird
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The actors are all unlikeable, but they do an ok job. I won't spoil it, but it's as this review title says. I wasn't expecting it to get so strange.
2 people found this helpful
AriReviewed in the United States on May 30, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Poses Interesting Bioethics Questions
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While the movie has some scientific inaccuracies, and it is hard for viewers with a science background to believe that Julie Delpy's character is a scientist, the movie is not intended to be a documentary about cloning, so that is irrelevant. Where it shines, is in the performance of human emotion such as pain, surrounding loss and failed relationships. In addition, it presents an interesting viewpoint on the bioethics of human cloning.
2 people found this helpful
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