Dear Zoe: A Film Review
An Emotional Journey with Remarkable Performances
Dear Zoe is a captivating film adaptation of Philip Beard’s bestselling novel, brought to life by a fantastic cast. Starring Sadie Sink from Stranger Things and Theo Rossi, the movie follows the rebellious teenager Tess DeNunzio as she struggles to cope with the tragic death of her younger sister, Zoe. The family is torn apart by grief, leading Tess to seek solace with her biological father, Nick DeNunzio. Throughout the film, Tess reflects on her loss, explores her resistance to recovery, and forms new connections, all against the backdrop of her father’s neighborhood.
Sadie Sink’s Remarkable Range
Sadie Sink, known for her role as Max Mayfield in Stranger Things, delivers an impressive performance as Tess DeNunzio. Having showcased her talent in various roles, Sink proves her acting range once again in Dear Zoe. However, the film’s first act rushes through the family tragedy, leaving little time to truly connect with the characters and their emotions. Sink’s portrayal of Tess becomes the anchor that draws the audience into the turmoil. With a genuine and heartfelt portrayal, Sink manages to make Tess’s radical decisions relatable and empathetic through her performance alone.
A Missed Opportunity with the Supporting Cast
One notable drawback of Dear Zoe is the underutilization of its supporting cast. Jessica Capshaw, who plays Tess’s mother, Elly Gladstone, could have been a prominent character driving the story. Unfortunately, she is often treated as an afterthought, with her character’s potential storyline left unexplored. The introduction of plot points, such as a possible affair that affects her relationship with Tess, adds little to the overall narrative. This missed opportunity dampens the impact of the family dynamic on the audience.
New Connections and Unlikely Friendships
One of the film’s strengths lies in Tess’s journey of navigating her grief and forming new relationships. Her bond with Jimmy Freeze, portrayed by Kweku Collins, adds a refreshing and charming dynamic to the narrative. While there are certain clichÃ©s inherent to this kind of relationship, such as the protective father figure, they do not detract from the film’s central focus on grief and healing. Collins and Sink share believable chemistry, contributing to the authenticity of their characters’ connection.
Theo Rossi’s Charismatic Performance
Theo Rossi provides a compelling performance as Nick DeNunzio, Tess’s biological father. With his charismatic portrayal, Rossi injects a sense of levity into the film. Despite inconsistencies in his character’s development, Rossi’s talent shines through as he brings depth and complexity to his role. The chemistry between Rossi and Sink is particularly noteworthy, creating a believable and engaging dynamic that resonates with the viewers.
Should You Watch Dear Zoe?
Ultimately, the decision of whether to watch Dear Zoe depends on your inclination towards films that tackle heavy subject matters. While the movie may feel somewhat disjointed at times, it manages to maintain an underlying emotional core that keeps the audience engaged. Sadie Sink’s performance once again proves her versatility as an artist, highlighting her potential for future roles. Dear Zoe premiered at the 2022 San Diego International Film Festival on October 21, 2022, and is set to release in select US theaters on November 4, with VOD availability, and on digital platforms in the UK on November 7.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Dear Zoe based on a book?
Yes, Dear Zoe is based on Philip Beard’s best-selling novel of the same name. The film adaptation brings the captivating story to the screen.
2. Who are the main actors in Dear Zoe?
The film stars Sadie Sink as Tess DeNunzio and Theo Rossi as Nick DeNunzio. Both actors deliver remarkable performances, captivating the audience with their portrayals.
3. What is the significance of the title, Dear Zoe?
The title, Dear Zoe, references the letter that Tess attempts to write in memory of her late sister. It serves as a central theme in the film, reflecting Tess’s journey of grief and reflection.
4. How does Dear Zoe explore the theme of grief?
Dear Zoe delves deep into the theme of grief, portraying how Tess copes with the loss of her sister and the impact it has on her family dynamics. The film navigates this emotional journey with sensitivity and authenticity.
5. Where and when can I watch Dear Zoe?
Dear Zoe premiered at the 2022 San Diego International Film Festival and is set to release in select US theaters on November 4. It will also be available for video-on-demand (VOD) viewing. In the UK, the film will be released on digital platforms on November 7.