Available today on VOD (Video on Demand) and DVD, is the dramatic film, Blackbird.
Blackbird features an all-star cast including Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson and Mia Wasikowska.
Susan Sarandon plays the role of Lily. She is the matriarch of her family and suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Rather than suffer the effects of the disease, Lily decides she wants to end her life. Before she does, she wants to have a wonderful weekend with her family.
Spending the weekend with Lily is her husband Paul (Neill), daughters Jennifer (Winslet) and Anna (Wasikowska), her son-in-law Michael (Wilson), grandson and other family members.
The whole situation in it’s self is depressing. After all, Lily plans on ending her life, so it goes without saying that everyone is in a sober mood. However, instead of finding a reason to celebrate Lily’s life, or making the weekend a happy one that she can remember them by, the weekend and the situation bring up a lot of “issues” between everyone.
Immediately tensions run high as Jennifer and Anna start bickering about things that should not be the focus of the weekend. Jennifer feels like Anna is trying to make the weekend about her and not their mother, which is not the case at all.
Lily does not want to pass on any important life lessons to her family, but rather she wants to have one last weekend together. She even has the family put up a Christmas tree and create a holiday feast, although it’s not even the holiday season.
The moments ebb and flow between fun, happy moments, to downright depressing and “dark” ones. Needless to say the weekend does not turn out the way Lily had planned. Many secrets are exposed which will forever change the family.
To find out how this family drama ends, you need to purchase or rent Blackbird. Look for it where ever movies are sold, rented and/or streamed.
I knew from watching the trailer and reading this film’s synopsis that the film would be depressing. That is an understatement. Make sure you have a full box of tissues handy if/when you watch this film.
Susan Sarandon does a stellar job as Lily. She has the composure to play this part, but at the same time you can truly get a sense of her emotions through her acting and the expressions on her face. I also think she pulled off the characters fragility very well.
Kate Winslet was not her usual glamorous self. She was hardly recognizable wearing the oversized, dark glasses that she did throughout the film.
Right from the start you could sense the pain Anna was experiencing, and that there had to be more to it than meets the eye. I think that Mia Wasikowska was a great choice for the role of Anna. She came across as helpless and “lost.”
Sadly, Sam Neill did not have a huge part in this film. Sarandon, Winslet and Wasikowska had bigger parts. Even the young actor who played Sarandon’s grandson (Johnathon) in the film (Anson Boon) had a bigger role than Neill.
The scenery, from the desolate beach to the minimally furnished home, added to the “dark” and “dreariness” of this film.
Over all it was an interesting film. It’s not the type of film I would normally watch, but there was something about it that struck my curiosity.
I could not find any social media accounts, or an official website, for the film.
The film is rated “R” due to a lot of cursing and drug use (smoking marijuana). The subject matter also does not make it a “family friendly” film.
The film has a run time of approximately 90 minutes.
Below is the film’s trailer for your entertainment.
*I received a free screener in order to review this film. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.