Blackbird is an 2019 drama film directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, My Cousin Rachel, Hyde Park on Hudson, & Morning Glory). This is a remake of 2014 Danish film Silent Heart. It was written by Christian Torpe (The Mist, Silent Heart, Rita, & Sam). It was produced by Avi Lerner (Rambo franchise, The Expendables franchise, Hellboy, Fallen trilogy, Amityville: The Awakening, Texas Chainsaw/Leatherface, & Day of the Dead/Day of the Dead: Bloodline) & Boaz Davidson (The Hitman’s Bodyguard 1/2, The Mechanic 1/2, Conan the Barbarian, Righteous Kill, The Iceman, & Drive Angry). Diane Keaton was the original choice for the lead in this. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. Lily (played by: Susan Sarandon from The Jesus Rolls, Dead Man Walking, Bull Durham, & The Hunger) & Paul (played by: Sam Neill from the JurassicPark franchise, Snow White: A Tale of Terror, The Hunt for Red October, & In the Mouth of Madness) summon their loved ones to their country house for one final gathering after Lily decides to end her life on her terms after a long battle with ALS. The couple is planning a loving weekend complete with holiday traditions but the mood becomes strained when unresolved issues surface between Lily’s daughters Jennifer (played by: Kate Winslet from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic, Carnage, & The Divergent Series) & Anna (played by: Mia Wasikowska from Alice in Wonderland 1/2, Stoker, Crimson Peak, & Lawless) as the tension builds up. One of them threatens to ruin Lily’s perfect laid out plan. Secrets are exposed & the close family starts to fall apart on this weekend together. Joining the collective farewell is Lily’s son in law Michael (played by: Rainn Wilson from The Office, Juno, Super, & Justice League Dark: Apokolips War), her best friend Liz (played by: Lindsay Duncan from Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Carnage, Body Parts, & Alice in Wonderland1/2), daughter’s partner Chris (played by: Bex Taylor-Klaus from 13 Reasons Why, Arrow, Scream: The TV Series, & Hell Fest), & her grandson Jonathan (played by: Anson Boon from 1917, Crawl, The Feed, & The Winter Lake).
The Covid-19 situation is hurting mainstream cinema right now because almost every major movie has been pushed back or delayed until next year. This has been a blessing for an independent feature like Blackbird. These smaller films have got a bigger push than usual because there’s honestly nothing out there on the market right now so they are getting more attention these days. Blackbird delivers on every level when it comes to quality. The script is carefully crafted for every actor in this, it’s a small cast but there’s not a single weak performance in Blackbird. The chemistry is great in this & every role connects with each other. It has a nice balance of drama & some dark comedy mixed in. It’s a very emotional piece that draws you in & you start to care about these interesting characters. Personally, it hit me pretty hard because my father has cancer & it’s been rough for my entire family so I can relate to this. Susan Sarandon gives her best performance in a long time in this. This is her movie & she gives it her all as the dying mother trying to spend one last weekend with her loved ones. The supporting cast is amazing in Blackbird. It’s loaded with so much talent plus familiar faces like Sam Neill, Kate Winslet, Rainn Wilson, & Mia Wasikowska. This one is a hidden gem & I hope it continues to get more attention during it’s release. If you want to see something sad but with some darker humor thrown in, this one is definitely for you. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Screen Media! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks fantastic. This film is basically in one main location & it’s beautiful. The production design & cinematography is top notch here. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & English: LPCM 2.0 tracks are solid on this home video release. It’s not the type of feature to blow up your speakers but all of the dialogue is crystal clear & the music has a great boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles. Besides a few “Trailers”, this disc has no extras on it. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!