Susan Sarandon is amazing as Lily, a woman slowly losing her faculties and who has decided that at the end of a perfect weekend she will choose to die. The perfect weekend includes visits by her two daughters – Jennifer (an unrecognisable Kate Winslet) with husband Michael (Rainn Wilson) and their teenage son Jonathan (Anson Boon); dysfunctional Anna (Mia Wasikowska) and her female partner Chris (Bex Taylor Klaus). Also along for the ride is Lily’s best friend Elizabeth (Lindsey Duncan) as well as her loyal and handsome husband Paul (Sam Neill), who has always been by Lily’s side.
The family is not a perfect one – Jennifer has controlling issues while Anna has never been truthful and transparent about her life. Sure she’s in a same sex relationship but there’s been times where she’s fallen off everyone’s radar – but Lily is still proud of both of her strong daughters who she raised to be just like her. But as the clock ticks to the final moment we know is coming, there is some excellent family time around the house, including the emotional ‘Christmas Dinner’ they have which is Lilly’s last evening meal. There is also lots of tension when several unresolved issues are revealed.
‘Blackbird’ is hard to sit through – it’s very emotional and very real, but up until the end, when every truth has been told and every tear has been wept, Sarandon still holds the screen – and our attention. It’s one of her finest film performances.
Blackbird is now on Digital Download & DVD
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.