Blackbird (2019) Review

A mother arranges a final family get together before she dies and everything is not as straight forward as it first seems. Her two daughters attempting to reconnect and being able to say goodbye might not always be the easiest things to do.

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Lily is suffering from ALS / Motor neurone disease which sees a person lose control of muscles and results in eventual paralysis. This is something that Lily does not want to happen, she has come up with a plan along with her husband that she will commit suicide before it means he will be charged with murder. This is announced to the family and they have one final celebration and an early Christmas. Although the issue certainly comes with a lot of drama and sadness.

A very controversial topic to have as the storyline of a film but also very interesting. Some people cannot cope at all when suffering from a disease and do not want loved ones to see them deteriorate. Only certain countries have rules where you can have an assisted death or suicide which will not see another person be charged. In the case of the film Lily and Paul must do this before she fully loses control of her arms/hands. With how quickly this disease can take hold of a person this pushed everything forward for the plan.

Jennifer and Anna both have a lot going on in their lives and have had a lot of arguments in the past. Especially with the latter struggling with drug addiction, so basically everything that could see a family being torn apart. The few days they all spend together was going to make or break them all. Something very impressive about the film and writing was the mixture of the dramatic and sad moments with those of great joy and jokes. This is what truly made it feel real and that it could be any family anywhere in the world attempting to deal with this very tough situation. You cannot help but quickly become engrossed within the story and wonder how you would feel if this was your family and your mother taking on this decision.

The acting was certainly top quality from the whole cast, which remains very small which I felt was an added edge to the film really making it feel like this family were the only ones who existed. I felt as though this was a good aspect and feel to it all, as over these few days no one else really mattered at all. Sometimes isn’t that how we should approach different moments in life?

Susan Sarandon has played a dying mother role before but this one was certainly a different approach. She proves in this though just how strong and engaging she is from start to finish. Kate Winslet in what is a rather different role to others in her career was very good to watch. The same goes for Mia Wasikowksa who certainly gets the chance to scenes steal at times with was something I found impressive. Anson Boon was the one who really stood out and impressed me though, for such a young actor to put in a performance of his nature was a joy to see.

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