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by Kathryn Loggins

A Narrative Feature by Drake Doremus

The concept of artificial intelligence in the not-too-distant future has been explored for years. As the information age continues to grow and technology seems to advance every second, it’s hard to come up with fresh ideas when it comes to how humans interact with artificial intelligence and what constitutes as being real feeling or real emotion. Drake Doremus’s Zoe grapples with those questions through the lens of a world where scientists are developing an android version of the ideal partner, one who will never leave.

The film follows Cole (Ewan McGregor) and Zoe (Lea Seydoux), who live in a world where the drug of choice is a pill that will give you the feeling of falling in love for the first time and scientists are trying to create the perfect partner. It’s a world where love is a driving force, but it’s still the hardest thing to understand. Cole and Zoe work at a research facility developing the technology that’s supposed to find an individual their perfect match. Their work leads them closer together and they start exploring what it means to live, and love within the confines of their world. As their relationship gets deeper, truths are revealed and their fundamental beliefs are put to the test.

Ewan McGregor and Lea Seydoux are quite wonderful in this tender, but complex tale of two people figuring out the nature of loving and living and what constitutes as real.  They’re easy on-screen chemistry pulls the audience in and makes for a captivating ride in the lives of two characters that are relatable and foreign at the same time.  The concept might seem unoriginal to some, but I think the writer and director are able to build a new and exciting world that seems fresh and adds enough nuance to the story to keep it interesting.