Thursday 13 July 2023

Movie Review: Blackbird (2019)

Genre: Dramedy
Director: Roger Michell
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Sam Neill, Lindsay Duncan
Running Time: 98 minutes

Synopsis: Suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), Lily (Susan Sarandon) has decided to end her life. She invites her family over for a final weekend reunion. Joining Lily and her supportive husband Paul (Sam Neill) are their grown daughters Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Anna (Mia Wasikowska), Lily's life-long best friend Liz (Lindsay Duncan), plus Jennifer's husband and son, and Anna's girlfriend. The weekend features a mix of sadness, celebration, humour, and no shortage of flashpoints.

What Works Well: This remake of a 2014 Danish movie enjoys a stellar cast in top form, with Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, and Mia Wasikowska shining brightest. Director Roger Michell embraces the theatrical setting (most of the scenes take place at Lily and Paul's home), but the performances remain organic and subdued, capturing the awkwardness familiar from most family gatherings. Lily's life-ending decision casts the most obvious thematic shadow, but other issues are also explored, including a dysfunctional sibling relationship, murmurs of resentment between daughters and their mother, and a life-long friendship with a twist. Dashes of humour, brisk pacing, and idyllic cinematography add a quiet sense of quality.

What Does Not Work As Well: The sorrowful melodrama knob is steadily turned up in the final act, overwhelming more subtle family dynamics.

Conclusion: A reunion weekend enriched by the complexities of life - and death.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.