The writer-director JULIE DELPY of this psycho-drama about a divorced mom is as exciting and unexpectedly fascinating and interesting as the movie she made, MY ZOE.
If you could tap into her energy you could light up a small city.
Before her movie screened at TIFF, she gave a small speech.
She told the audience she makes bold films that take risks, go in a direction that is not expected, that make the audience want to know what will happen next.She said if you are a writer-Director who doesn’t do that, “You stay in a box and die.”
The movie begins with the main woman character married to an abusive husband. He always finds fault with whatever she does and puts her down.
They are in the process of getting a divorce and seeing a mediator to help them come to a custody agreement.
They both love their daughter ZOE, an adorable athletic healthy pleasant little girl.
There is no greater fear for a parent than losing a child and no greater pain for a parent than a parent losing a child.
As the movie progresses ZOE has an accident….the parents do not know this.
The mother finds ZOE has stopped breathing when she goes to wake ZOE up one morning.
ZOE is rushed by ambulance to the emergency room of a hospital, where it is discovered that she has a concussion putting pressure on her brain – an operation ensues.
After the operation the surgeon tells the parents that ZOE will lose motor function.
ZOE is in a coma. ZOE must stay in the hospital to recuperate.
While ZOE is recuperating something happens, ZOE becomes brain dead.
The husband apologizes to his wife for having been mean to her.
The surgeon asks the parents to donate brain dead ZOE’S organs to sick dying children who desperately need ZOE’S organs.
The mother, a highly skilled immunologist, can not stand the thought of losing ZOE.
She secretly draws fluid from ZOE to be used in a once in a lifetime first time set of surgical procedures to clone ZOE after ZOE dies.
It is illegal and a violation of medical ethics to clone a human being; it has never been done before.
The mother knows of a surgeon whom she thinks/believes could do it.
She goes to see him at his clinic in Russia.
She tried to talk him into doing it.
The audience doesn’t know what will happen next, never knows what will happen next.
The movie is a never ending suspense – audiences who see this movie will be glued to their seats throughout the movie – from the beginning to the end of the movie.
The writer-director doesn’t tell the audience what to think or how to think as the characters each face one moral/ethical dilemma after another.
This movie is a gigantic criticism of joint child custody – the writer-director shows how joint custody is not in a child’s best interest or in either parent’s best interest even when both parents love the child and want what is best for the child.
I agree with all the choices made by the mother.
THIS IS A THINKING PERSON’S MOVIE.
Gary Smolker, Movie Reviewer, Values Critic and Trial Lawyer