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Film / Z for Zachariah

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Z for Zachariah is a 2015 movie starring Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine. It is based on the novel of the same name by Robert C. O'Brien.

In the wake of a nuclear war, Ann Burden is one of the last surviving humans, eking out a life in a valley that was conveniently spared the ravages of nuclear fallout. After a year of solitude, she is joined by a man named John Loomis, who survived thanks to a suit that he designed before the war. Soon after, they are joined by another survivor named Caleb, and thus begins a complicated love triangle.


  • Adam and Eve Plot: Hinted at when John tells Ann they should save up supplies not just for themselves, but also "anyone else". Though she doesn't get what he means, John seems to be thinking they might have a baby some day, and at this point it's left unclear whether anyone else in the world is still alive.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The film ends with Ann and Loomis deciding to carry on living together without yet looking for other survivors.
  • Adaptation Decay: The film removes the cat-and-mouse nature of Ann and Loomis' relationship (as well as the latter's increasingly villainy) in favor of more of a Love Triangle with a post-apocalyptic backdrop.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The original novel only had two characters, Ann and Loomis. The film adds a third survivor, Caleb.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Loomis is portrayed much more sympathetically in film than he is in the book.
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  • After the End: The film takes place after a nuclear war has wiped out nearly everyone on Earth.
  • Age Lift: Ann is a teenager in the novel, but a grown woman in the film.
  • Downer Ending: Loomis gets away with likely killing Caleb, with Ann apparently none the wiser. Having no other alternatives, and despite having stronger feelings for Caleb, she stays with Loomis and the two apparently start a new life together.
  • Karma Houdini: If Loomis did kill Caleb, he's this by the end, living with Ann with no more competition, and with her apparently none the wiser of his deeds.
  • Last-Name Basis: Caleb always calls John "Mr. Loomis", seemingly in keeping with his Southern civility.
  • Love Triangle: Between Ann, Caleb, and Loomis.
  • Mercy Kill: John shot a teenager who begged him to, and he thinks this may have been Ann's brother.
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  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Implied with Caleb.
  • Race Lift: Loomis was white in the original book, but is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the film.

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