Review: Love, life and death in the intimate family drama ‘Blackbird’ The family drama “Blackbird” with, from left, Sam Neill, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Rainn … Hence the gathering, which doubles as a sort of wake featuring an early Christmas, a stroll along the shore recalling pleasant memories (with a pit stop at the the site of a daughter’s conception many, many years ago), a huge feast, some one-on-one chats and several expensive bottles of wine. Mitchell's small-scale drama - which perhaps unconvincingly substitutes England's South Coast for The Hamptons - could easily be a stage play, and might have been better received as such, likely disappearing without a trace on digital release (and, shortly, DVD-only release). Before the condition worsens, she plans to quietly take her own life with the help of her husband (Sam Neill), but not before spending the weekend in their idyllic beach house with her family. Its high point is immediately followed by a downward … Winslet does a lot with a little in terms of her coiled-spring of a daughter; Wasikowska is a fine actor who finds herself stymied by what she’s got to work with here; Wilson channels amiable nerdiness, Neill is all gray-fox paternal sturdiness and Sarandon does her benevolent earth-mother thing. Get Movies. What you’re left with is the cinematic equivalent of a clipped-wing plummet. In life, there's surely something in that philosophy. September 14, 2020. “When’s it happening?” asks Jonathan (Anson Boon), a teenager getting antsy at a family gathering. Accusations are hurled, voices are raised, secrets are revealed, and wounds are reopened so they can heal that much quicker. © Copyright 2021 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. 2 Shares . ‘Blackbird’ Review: Susan Sarandon Wants to Die in Satisfying Remake of Danish Drama Aided by Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, and Mia Wasikowska, … So she’s decided to take a fatal dose of medicine and go gently into the night. Yet as a whole, the film never quite takes wing. What the Hell Is Going On in Sia’s ‘Music’? The two grown sisters definitely have a history, given that Jennifer is a case study in Type A uptight-itude and Anna has cultivated a serious black-sheep vibe. The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and is now available now on streaming at DVD RATING: R. LENGTH: 1 hour, 37 minutes. JEAN PIERRE G. 5.0 out of 5 stars BLACKBIRD, le principe de précaution. One person in particular feels a little wary about signing off on the whole euthanasia idea. For the first hour or so of Blackbird, this is what we get: a casual, almost laid-back story of an upper-middle-class family saying au revoir to one of their own. Blackbird Review. (It isn’t surprising that Thorpe is penning an English-language version of his screenplay for the 2014 Danish movie Silent Heart; the movie has a distinctly European mood to it.) The spell breaks, at which point you may start to notice that some of these characters seem a little thin, and others don’t seem like characters at all so much as a collection of crude mannerisms, tics and unaddressed script notes. From Susan Sarandon to Kate Winslet to Mia Wasikowska to Sam Neill, there's no denying the cast all deliver on what they are given. (CNN) "Blackbird" assembles a terrific cast in the service of fairly mundane movie -- a small-boned production about a woman facing a terminal diagnosis, summoning her … Movie Review Mom GRADE: B+. Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet take the lead in stagy end-of-life melodrama Blackbird: Review this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Email. Earn 125 points on every ticket you buy. MOVIE TITLE: Blackbird. Rack up 500 points and you'll score a $5 reward for more movies. Blackbird is equal parts riveting and infuriating. The site's critics consensus states: "Blackbird wastes its premise on shallow storytelling, though its splendid cast adds heart to a sensitive subject." 'Blackbird' flies high on the strength of his actors to deliver the emotional clout the movie promises. Of course, that might not blunt the emotional effects for those who have experienced losing a parent or dealt with the matter of how to bid farewell -- a scenario logistically exacerbated for many amid this age of Covid-19. Directed by Roger Michell. Setting that aside, the idea all this unfolds within a weekend feels a trifle contrived, which might explain why the movie labors down the back stretch. Such movies usually try to elicit a few tears along with the laughs. Movie Review: Blackbird Entertainment, Movies. Before that happens, however, Lily wants to spend what little time she has left with her loved ones and her very best friend, Liz (Lindsay Duncan). Available today on VOD (Video on Demand) and DVD, is the dramatic film, Blackbird. "Blackbird" is a remake of the 2014 Danish film "Silent Heart," both with screenplays by Christian Torpe. We want to hear from you! There are too many splendid little touches in this tale of letting go to dismiss it entirely, and too many latebreaking wrong turns it takes to completely forgive it. It even takes a shockingly long time for the sorrowful strings to kick in on the score. The cast is quite good, although the movie could wind up as a 2020 afterthought for Winslet, who's again earning award buzz for her featured role in the upcoming "Ammonite." Before making the decision to see it—or any other film—in a movie theater, please consider the health risks involved. Blackbird is the anti-Notting Hill in that, instead of seeking to mine all the clichés of the genre in service of an uplifting ending, this movie does everything in its power to promote the usage of tissues and handkerchiefs. The “soon” part is in two days. Blackbird (3,178) IMDb 6.4 1 h 37 min 2020 X-Ray R Lily (Susan Sarandon) summons her daughters Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Anna (Mia Wasikowska) for one final family reunion as she looks to end her battle with a terminal illness. TikTok Taps 100 Black Creators for an Incubator Program, ‘Ginny & Georgia’: Meet the New Gilmore Girls, Dialed Up to 11, Watch Axl Rose’s Cameo Appearance on ‘Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?’, Meghan McCain Wants Fauci Replaced With ‘Someone Who Understands Science’, As Toilet Paper Stock Plunges, Bidets Are Making a Splash, ‘The Mauritanian’: Putting a Face to the War on Terror’s Casualties. In truth, it’s a subgenre of a subgenre of a genre. Note: The writer of this review watched Blackbird from home on a digital screener. As "Blackbird" unfolds, though, there's a too-familiar quality to the feelings that come spilling out, including old resentments and conflicts brought to the fore regarding Lily's grown daughters -- one (Kate Winslet) a tightly wound mom, the other (Mia Wasikowska) still finding herself -- each there with a partner, as well as a few secrets. Audiences have seen these familiar beats, plot devices, and dramatic spins multiple times over. ‘Saint Maud’: Faith, Madness, A Holy Terror of a Horror Movie. Here’s an interview on the matter with scientific experts. Roger Michell has amassed a filmography that can't quite be defined. But director Roger Michell — a South African filmmaker whose resumé includes everything from the classic BBC miniseries The Buddha of Suburbia to Changing Lanes to Notting Hill — and screenwriter Christian Thorpe more or less drop viewers directly into the “acceptance” phase of Kübler-Ross‘s stages of grief. Randy Steinberg. And then it’s as if someone nudges Blackbird in the ribs, taps their watch and reminds the film that it’s supposed to be a melodrama, not a mellow in memoriam, and a far more typical story of family feuding kicks in. Sign up for our newsletter. In This Article: When a medium –cinema– becomes so vast with thousands of new titles every year, the need for new genres ramifies quickly. Oscar-winning star plays a matriarch who gathers her family together for a long goodbye in this mixed memorial melodrama, Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet in 'Blackbird.'. ‘Blackbird’ Review: Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Susan Sarandon Oscar-winning star plays a matriarch who gathers her family together for a long goodbye in … ‘Blackbird’ movie review - The Washington Post Isaiah Washington, left, is a standout in his portrayal of a seemingly macho father to Julian Walker’s Randy in “Blackbird.” (RLJ Entertainment) Overall, Blackbird is a film that suffers from its repetitive nature. Amid the bittersweet farewell, unresolved feelings surface. Anecdotes are shared, a poem is recited — more like rapped, really, complete with group table-thumping — and maybe a joint or two get passed around. His biggest movie - "Notting Hill," part of the 90s collection of Julia Roberts romantic comedies - was only his second feature as a director. Learn more If we work from the top, we have the drama. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "mixed of average reviews". The group — along with Jennifer’s sister Anna (Mia Wasikowska) and Anna’s girlfriend, Chris (Bex Taylor-Klaus) — has ostensibly gathered to the posh beach house owned by the matriarch and her husband, Paul (Sam Neill), for Thanksgiving dinner. Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet in 'Blackbird.'. Review of the movie Blackbird, starring Susan Sarandon. The right to die is one of those topics that tends to divide moviegoers along rigidly defined lives, and that's very likely going to be the case about "Blackbird," an American remake of the 2014 Danish offering "Silent Heart." The R rating is for language, some drug use and brief sexual material Latest news about Blackbird, starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, Mia Wasilkowska and directed by Roger Michell. MOVIE REVIEW: Blackbird (Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh, Courtesy of Screen Media) BLACKBIRD— 3 STARS Quite quickly into Roger Michell’s Blackbird, Susan Sarandon stamps exactly what kind of terminally ill character this film intends to portray. 'Blackbird' review: Glancing treatment of a difficult subject. Featured Movie News. Top reviews from other countries Translate all reviews to English. His parents, Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Michael (Rainn Wilson), shoot him a STFU glare. "Blackbird" has it the other way around. The conversation also drifts into the biggest of themes about the question of choosing to end one's life and what might await her -- indeed, everyone -- after. When a woman seriously afflicted with ALS sees what lies ahead Tweet. Susan Sarandon is Lily, whose shuffling, strenuous effort just to get up and down the stairs reveal the way that ALS is ravaging her body. This is very much the Hollywood version, with Oscar-winning actresses, sad violins on the score signaling serious drama, and a gorgeous setting, the English shore standing in for Connecticut. The premise and performers yield some emotional moments, inadvertently heightened by recent events. With Sam Neill, Susan Sarandon, Anson Boon, Kate Winslet. "Love is all there is," Lily tells her family, as she tries to help them let go. “Soon,” replies his grandmother Lily (Susan Sarandon), entering the living room and smiling at him. Directed by Roger Michell ("My Cousin Rachel"), this remake of the 2014 Danish film "Silent Heart" occasionally puts a lump in your throat, such as when Lily asks her longtime friend (Lindsay Duncan) to "look after my girls." Send us a tip using our anonymous form. A terminally ill mother arranges to bring her family together one last time before she dies. Buy Movies. The situation is, at first, pleasantly awkward, and an ideal independent-film concept -- putting a group of people together in a single location for a very finite period of time. Want more Rolling Stone? Avec BLACKBIRD, on pourrait penser à un film américain mais, il s'agit en fait d'un film canadien. Blackbird features an all-star cast including Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson and Mia Wasikowska. By Matthew Passantino. There is another agenda in the works, however. The moral question, meanwhile, is complicated a bit by the fact Sarandon -- however polarizing she might be. A remake of the 2014 Danish film 'Silent Heart'. This is a well made film about assisted suicide. Updated 1:54 PM ET, Tue September 15, 2020. Watch Exclusive 'The Sinners' Trailer Read More; What to Watch on FandangoNOW: ‘News of the World,’ ‘Promising Young Woman,’ ‘Synchronic’ and More Read More; This Week in Movie News: Chris Evans Returning as Captain America, Ben Affleck Directing ‘Keeper of the Lost Cities’ and More Read More There’s a new subgenre in cinema. (CNN)"Blackbird" assembles a terrific cast in the service of fairly mundane movie -- a small-boned production about a woman facing a terminal diagnosis, summoning her family to say goodbye. Verified Purchase. Blackbird – Movie Review. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/17/movies/blackbird-review.html There are hints of past turmoil, and age-old grudges rearing their ugly heads. Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Rainn Wilson, Susan Sarandon. Reviewed in France on June 8, 2017. “Blackbird” is a remake of the 2014 Danish film “Silent Heart,” and that film’s screenwriter, Christian Torpe, has written the screenplay for this version as well. BLACKBIRD -- director Roger Michell 's remake of the 2014 Danish film Silent Heart -- is a family drama about a woman with a terminal illness who gathers her husband, her daughters and their partners, her grandson, and her best friend for a final weekend together before she moves ahead with her assisted dying plan. Lily has been afflicted with ALS for a while, and things are starting to get bad. Blackbird wastes its premise on shallow storytelling, though its splendid cast adds heart to a sensitive subject. "Blackbird" inadvertently benefits from the way those connections -- bonds with family, the pain of loss and learning to let go -- have been tested in these trying times, and the notion of identifying what's truly important. Share. Pin 2. 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