In the first trailer for Zoe, Ewan McGregor’s character attempts to create the perfect soulmate, and the science fiction narrative bears a close resemblance to a recent Black Mirror episode.
Directed by Drake Doremus, Zoe teams up McGregor with French actress Léa Seydoux, known for her starring role in the 2013 film Blue Is the Warmest Color. As the main characters begin a romance in Zoe, they come to realize that it’s anything but ideal, at least in scientific terms, thus setting in motion a romantic storyline that’s not entirely unlike the director’s past films. In 2011, Doremus released his breakthrough film Like Crazy, starring the late Anton Yelchin opposite a pre-Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence. Most recently, Doremus has directed indie romance films such as Breathe In (2013), Equals (2015), and Newness (2017).
Today, ONE Media released Zoe’s official trailer. Early on, the stakes are established as McGregor’s character emphasizes the importance of human connections. From there, Seydoux enters the picture to underline the fundamentals of a new scientific mission: to pinpoint the probability of two people staying together. Visually, the clip teases sequences that fall in line with traditional genre tropes, however the subdued color palette accentuates the human element, and the quest to connect with a “synthetic.” Overall, there’s an ethereal quality to the collective imagery, with the musical backdrop adding a metaphysical aspect.
Furthermore, the basic premise is thematically linked to the Black Mirror season 4 episode “Hang the DJ,” in which futuristic singles seek compatible partners while working around a computerized system that dictates how long each relationship will last. In the Zoe trailer, the inherent conflict seems focused primarily on the ebb and flow of the main characters’ romance, instead of the human relationship to technology. Zoe’s supporting cast includes Christina Aguilera, Theo James, Rashida Jones, and Miranda Otto.
Zoe will mark the second summer release for Amazon Studios. On July 13, Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot will be distributed theatrically, however Doremus’ new film will be confined to Amazon Prime. While Zoe didn’t receive glowing reviews after its premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, the streaming release is undoubtedly relevant to the on-going conversation about awards season nominations, and whether streaming films should be separated from productions that have a wide theatrical release, if only temporarily.
Based on early Twitter reactions to Zoe’s trailer, it’s clear that some fans are emotionally connected. However, it will be interesting to see how much hype the film receives on social media platforms, and whether McGregor and Seydoux can attract more than the indie-minded fanbase that Doremus has earned over the years.
Zoe will be available for streaming July 20 on Amazon Prime.
Source: ONE Media/YouTube
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