Director Julie Delpy exemplifies ‘next generation of feminism’

Julie Delpy is a director, actress, screenwriter, producer, and musician. She grew up in a family where both her parents worked in the performing arts. She began working in the film industry at 14 as an actress, and has been acting continuously since then. Along with her work in the film industry, she also released a music album Julie Delpy in 2003.

FF2 Media has been following her work (and New York City) releases since 2006, when our Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner reviewed her film 2 Days In Paris and interviewed Delpy a few months later. Delpy has worked on more than 30 films, including seven features which she directed. It is even more impressive when we see that, for her feature films, she is not only the director, but also one of the writers and leading actors. So far, her works boast 63 nominations and 28 wins. These include her two Oscar nominations for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay for Before Sunset in 2005, and Before Midnight in 2014 (the latter of which FF2 Media rated highly at 4.5/5).

Directorial work:

Her directorial debut, Looking for Jimmy, was released in 2002. “Al” (Delpy) and her friend “V.” (Emily Wagner) go looking for Al’s boyfriend when he doesn’t turn up to V. ‘s birthday party and goes AWOL. It is a film that captures the essence of Los Angeles and its misfits, and does so in a less calculated and freer form of filming.

Julie Delpy directs 2 Days in Paris (Credits: Polaris)

In 2007, Delpy released 2 Days In Paris. The movie is a romantic comedy that looks at a relationship between “Marion” (Deply) and “Jack “(Adam Goldberg)–one that is falling apart. After a failed romantic getaway trip to Venice, the pair have high hopes for a quick two-day stop in Paris to collect their cat back from Marion’s parents. With five award nominations and two wins, this film was described as “hilarious” by FF2 Media’s Huttner, who rated it 4/5 and wrote how she “laughed herself silly.” Huttner writes that Delpy “knows that every deep relationship is inherently tragic” and had managed to provide a “thoroughly satisfying emotional experience.”

During a Chicago Press Day in 2006, Jan had an in-depth chat with Delpy where they discussed feminism and the characters of her films. Delpy explains that Marion is the “next generation of feminism.” Delpy was “raised by a feminist, so [she’s] not a feminist” because she doesn’t need to be. She has “no issues with the idea that [she’s] the same as a man.” Delpy also explains that she had a lot of fun playing Marion because it was “liberating” and something she wishes she could do. As a woman and an actress, she doesn’t dare to react as physically as Marion does: “…if I get punched in the face, break my nose, it’s over for me.” 

A few interesting facts about this film:

Marion’s parents in Paris are played by Delpy’s real parents. This is the first film where Goldberg got to play a serious leading role and “handles it beautifully.” The score in the film is original and composed by Delpy and Mike Kourtzer.

Read FF2 Media’s review of 2 Days in Paris here!

The Countess was Delpy’s next feature film, released in 2009. Going back to the 17th Century, this is a biography of Erzebet Bathory–a countess who turns to bathing in the blood of virgins in a mad attempt to maintain her youth. This was followed by Le Skylab in 2011, where a young 11-year-old is going through physical and emotional transitions surrounded by her large family during a summer in Brittany, 1979. In addition to directing, acting, and writing the piece, Delpy is also the composer for the film’s score.

In 2012, Delpy released 2 Days in New York, a comedy/drama about “Marion” (Delpy) and “Mingus” (Chris Rock)–a couple in Manhattan whose relationship is tested when Marion’s family comes to visit. This is a sequel to 2 Days in Paris, after Marion has broken up with “Jack” (Adam Goldberg) and is living with their child in New York.

Lolo (Credits: © 2016 – FilmRise)

Lolo is a comedy feature from 2015 about a workaholic lady in her forties who works in the fashion industry and falls for a computer geek. Editor-in-Chief Huttner rates this movie 4/5 and describes this as a “ditzy comedy about a toxic mother/son relationship refreshingly told from the mom’s POV.” The film displays the age-old issues of women in their forties who are faced with balancing a successful career with their search for love.

Read FF2 Media’s review of Lolo here!

My Zoe would have had its US big screen debut at the now-postponed Tribeca Film Festival, slated for April 15th, 2020 (Click here for a list of the festival’s films available to stream). This is a film about divorcee “Isabelle” (Delpy) who co-parents her daughter “Zoe” (Sophia Ally) with her ex-husband. When tragedy hits this family, Isabelle, who is also a scientist, takes matters into her own hands.

Of course Julie Delpy’s portfolio of work in the film industry is much more vast than this list–here I focused on her directorial work. To see all the projects that she’s worked on throughout her life, please take a look at her IMDb page. Thank you to Delpy for all your input into the film world and hope to see My Zoe soon!

© Katusha Jin (4/6/2020) FF2 Media

Julie Delpy directs  My Zoe (Credits: Warner Bros.)

Featured photo: My Zoe (Credits: Warner Bros.)

Tags: 2 Days in New York, 2 Days in Paris, Julie Delpy, Lolo (2015)

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Katusha Jin joined FF2 Media’s team in 2017 whilst she was still a film student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2019 she was the recipient of SCMP’s journalism scholarship and studied under the mentorship of an Oscar award-winning documentary director in Hong Kong. She went on to receive her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Hong Kong where she graduated with distinction. Katusha has previously worked in the advertising industry, and when she is not writing for FF2 Media, she can be found working on films as a director, producer, and writer. As a trilingual filmmaker, her experiences have cultivated an interest in the intersection between cultural diversity and creativity, and she brings that to her work both as a creative and as a critic. She is also a voice-over hobbyist, a fitness enthusiast, a student of comedy, and is always on the lookout for musical and theatrical collaborations.
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