Blackbird Movie Review

Blackbird Movie Review
Roger Michell has amassed a filmography that can't quite be defined. His biggest movie - "Notting Hill," part of the 90s collection of Julia Roberts romantic comedies  - was only his second feature as a director. He has worked with some of the greatest British actors, while mixing things up with the road rage thriller "Changing Lanes," starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. Not much in his portfolio points to "Blackbird," an American adaptation of a Danish film called "Silent Heart."
The movie, which premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, is assembled and packaged as a Lifetime film, dipping into soapy melodrama occasionally, but is massively elevated by an exceptional cast. Susan Sarandon stars as Lily, who has difficulty moving around her house, but she is proud and determined and doesn't want anyone's help. She is married to Paul (Sam Neill) and they summon their entire family, including their daughters Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Anna (Mia Wasikowska), Jennifer's husband (Rainn Wilson) and their son Jonathon (Anson Boon), and Anna's girlfriend (Bex Taylor-Klaus). Lily has asked her oldest friend Liz (Lindsay Duncan) to join their family for the weekend.

It turns out that Lily is terminally ill, and her condition is going to continue to rapidly worsen. She refuses to live a life she has no control over and to eventually have to be fed through a tube. Lily has made the decision to end her life on her own terms and wants to spend one last weekend with her family, who are, expectedly, blindsided by her choice. She continues to remind them of that: it's her choice.

When movies get an entire family into one house chaos ensues, and it's no different in "Blackbird." Jennifer and Anna could not be more different: Jennifer is tightly regimented, while Anna has been struggling with mental health issues that have kept her at a distance from the family. Jennifer doesn't necessarily agree with their mother's decision but tries to get everyone on board to honor her last wish. When "Blackbird" veers into the typical wacky family moments of screaming and plate-smashing, it loses its edge. It doesn't need to pull out stale tricks to try and bring some levity to a tough subject matter because Sarandon is so good - this is one of her best performances - giving Lily a biting wit in her final days.

What keeps "Blackbird" from being a run-of-the-mill family picture is the reason they are all together. Lily's wish to end her life brings about moral and ethical implications and considerations. A lot of the deeper discussions get sidelined by some out of place scenes that shift the film's tone - primarily one between Winslet and Wilson in the garage - but Michell clearly wanted to keep things as light as possible for a movie about dying.

When the narrative wobbles, Sarandon keeps things focus and continues to demand your attention. She seems so sure in what she wants, but naturally, there's a sense of uncertainty. What remains important is that Lily wants to choose what's best for her and does so with dignity, but not before making peace with her family. That's what elevates "Blackbird."

"Blackbird" will be available on demand started Sept. 18
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Blackbird Movie Review Blackbird Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, September 20, 2020 Rating: 5


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