Above entertainment, cinema can provide a glorious springboard for conversation about all manner of emotions. Movies can give parents the verbal tools to talk to their kids and help expose them to life's challenges through love and loss.

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Isabelle (Julie Delphy) is puzzling through single motherhood, a demanding career and the future of her relationship with her child's (Sophia Ally) father (Richard Armitage) in 'My Zoe.' Photos courtesy of Blue Fox Entertainment.

Julie Delpy’s new film, My Zoe, is a heartfelt drama that unspools the human experience in all its dimensions. It centers on a scientist and mother named Isabelle (Delpy), who’s juggling the incredible demands of her job, divorce, and parenting her young daughter Zoe (Sophia Ally). Zoe’s father, James (The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage), wants to give his relationship with Isabelle another try, but Isabelle intends to move on. This leads to many finger-pointing arguments (a la Marriage Story) when anything left of center in Zoe’s life occurs. But then tragedy strikes, and Isabelle is forced to take matters into her own hands.

My Zoe is an easy experience to spoil. So, if you research beyond this, proceed with caution. Even the trailer may give too much away. But it’s challenging to discuss Delpy’s film without looking at what happens in its second half. Let’s just say: Don’t expect a straightforward drama. There comes a point where the story takes a risk by slipping into sci-fi territory. When the turn comes, and the narrative continues down that road, it doesn’t keep from abandoning the film’s emotional strength, which is a mother’s love for her daughter.

It’s films like this that give you a new perspective and appreciation for what you have. It’s not a comfortable journey to endure, but sometimes all you want is the sense that there are other people out there in the world who understand your pain and worries in life.

The Denton Record-Chronicle spoke with Ms. Delpy recently (via Zoom) to discuss some of these eye-opening themes as well as the psychology of the characters she pens. Watch our video chat below, and see My Zoe in select theaters across Dallas-Fort Worth on February 26 and On-Demand on May 25. (For Denton: AMC Highland Village 12 and AMC DINE-IN Grapevine Mills 30.): 

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Read his work here, on FreshFiction.tv and on RottenTomatoes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PrestonBarta.

 

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