Dear Zoe – Movie Review
Director: Gren Wells
Writer: Marc Lhormer, Melissa Martin (Screenplay)
Writer: Philip Beard (Novel)
- Sadie Sink (Stranger Things)
- Theo Rossi (Army of the Dead)
- Jessica Capshaw (Valentine)
- Justin Bartha (National Treasure)
- Kweku Collins
Plot: When Tess and her family suffer an unimaginable loss, she finds support from a surprising source: her biological father – a lovable slacker from the wrong side of the tracks – and the charming but dangerous juvenile delinquent next door.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Dear Zoe starts in the aftermath of the tragic death in a family. A teenage member of the family Tess (Sink) sees her mother Elly (Capshaw) close up from the world and her little sister Emily (Blair) struggling to understand the change. Tess decides to move in with her father Nick (Rossi) who lives on the wrong side of the tracks.
As Tess starts to adapt to a new life, she meets a rebellious neighbour Jimmy (Collins). Nick not wanting the pair to hang out, only pushes Tess further away, as she deals with the guilt of what happened to her sister.
Verdict on Dear Zoe
Tess is a teenager who is struggling with guilt after her younger sister dies. She is trying to keep things strong around her family that is struggling with the loss. Tess gets tired of her mother’s behaviour and decides to move in with her father on the wrong side of town. The teenage era of Tess’s life has become more difficult with the change in her life, it is more about how she will cope with the changes.
Nick is Tess’s father, he is from the wrong side of the town seen as more of a slacker in the family. He hustles to get by as he balances his life by keeping away from the law. Nick takes Tess in as a chance to let her breathe after the tragedy. He offers more freedom than her mother but has stricter rules about the neighbour.
Elly is Tess’s mother who has struggled with the loss, closing herself off from the world. Like many people that lose a child, it would be very hard for her to keep her feet on the ground.
Jimmy is Nick’s neighbour who befriends Tess, he is from a different world, one Tess has never seen. The two connect on a different level, where he becomes a love interest for Tess during her difficult times.
Sadie Sink is amazing in the leading role in this movie. She has had quite the year, and this completes her year for performances that show just how talented the young star is. In the supporting roles Kweku Collins and Theo Rossi both shine, while Jessica Capshaw brings an emotional level to her performance.
The story follows a teenage girl that believes it is her fault her younger sister died. She has wrapped herself up in guilt, while the rest of her family has struggled to deal with the tragedy. To escape this, she moves in with her father and starts to see life through a different set of eyes, helping her deal with her guilt.
This story put a firm spotlight on guilt and loss. Showing how a family can be torn apart by a tragedy and people need to deal with it in their own ways. There is a focus on the coming-of-age factor, with Tess experiencing life in a different way than before. Everything in this story wants to pull so hard on the heartstrings. It is powerful and ends up leaving you feeling broken.
Final Thoughts – Dear Zoe is a powerful, moving, heartbreaking story, one where Sadie Sink truly shines.