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  • Paul (Sam Neill) and Lily (Susan Sarandon) have gathered their family for the last time. Lily has advanced ALS and intends to commit suicide before it's too late. The family has already agreed to the plan but fractures start to appear within the consensus.

    For most of this movie, everybody is walking on egg shells. It makes the movie itself walking on egg shells. That reservation keeps a damper on the drama. The last half hour piles on the drama with one big scene. It's good drama but it's too little too late. The actors are terrific. The movie does need to push out the drama earlier.
  • nogodnomasters8 November 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    Lily (Susan Sarandon ) has ALS and wants to plan her death rather than face a time when she loses all muscle control. She brings the family together and her friend Liz (Lindsay Duncan ) for one last get together as they celebrate her birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The daughters created some drama, drama that seemed forced and ill conceived. The acting was good and by the end I was into the characters and had a wet eye moment.

    Seemed to symbolize the end of the baby boomer generation.

    Guide: F-word. Brief sex. No nudity.
  • Susan Sarandon is the central character, she has an illness that is progressing such that soon she will not be able to use any motor functions. So she and her doctor husband in Connecticut decide she will take a drug that will put her to sleep from which she will never wake up. Just slip away like being "black birded."

    As a final goodbye family are invited for a weekend at the seaside home, there are squabbles, some misunderstandings, but all the acting is good. It raises lots of questions about the ethics of "end of life" decisions. I had to ask my wife "Who is your best friend" so I'd know who to start an affair with if she gets in this situation.

    Curiously it was filmed in England even though set in Connecticut, it has several foreign actors all doing their best American accent. The script does acknowledge that what they are doing is illegal in most states but they planned it such that it wouldn't implicate the husband.

    My wife and I watched it at home via Amazon streaming movies.
  • Gordon-1119 September 2020
    This film is really really powerful. I watched it for the stellar cast, not knowing what it was about. I was already in tears half way through the film. It is very well made as well.
  • ferguson-617 September 2020
    Greetings again from the darkness. Even though death is imminent for each of us, we don't all get the opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones. For those who do, it may not go as smoothly as they'd imagined. This is especially true if they are choosing to end things on their own terms due to a terminal illness. Roger Michell (NOTTING HILL, 1999; VENUS, 2006) directs this remake of the 2014 Danish film SILENT HEART (directed by Bille August), both written by Christian Torpe.

    Family matriarch Lily (Oscar winner Susan Sarandon) has a terminal illness, and has arranged for the family to return home for one final get-together. See, Lily, with the assistance of her doting doctor husband Paul (Sam Neill) is planning to 'go' on her own terms, while it's still physically possible for her to take the medicinal potion. "Death with dignity", or euthanasia, is becoming a more frequent topic in films and conversation, despite still being illegal in most states. Of course, the legal and moral questions are heavily debated, but when it's a family member, it's the emotions that heat up.

    First to arrive is eldest daughter Jennifer (Oscar winner Kate Winslet) and her husband Michael (Rainn Wilson, "The Office") and their son Jonathan (Anson Boon, CRAWL). Kate is the uptight, demanding type who is always judging others - including her nerdy well-meaning husband, and her free-spirited son. The younger daughter Anna (Mia Wasikowska) arrives with her partner Chris (Bex Taylor-Klaus, "The Killing"), and it's immediately clear that Jennifer and Anna are personality opposites (with some baggage), and that Anna is carrying an unspoken burden. Last to arrive is long-time family friend Liz (Lindsay Duncan), who is so close to Lily and Paul, that the family photographs show her on many family vacations and events over the years.

    This has the look and feel of a stage presentation, as most of the scenes are filled with dialogue and occur within the confines of the stunning east coast home, apparently designed by Lily. There is a family walk along the beach and dunes, but most of the run time is filled with interpersonal interactions - some pleasant, some not pleasant at all. In fact, an early (by a couple of months) Christmas family dinner is sprinkled with pot smoking and emotional outbursts. It turns out, not surprisingly, that some of the secrets previously kept, find their way out into the open causing a few bumps in Lily's farewell weekend.

    The complexities of family dynamics are amplified in this situation. Who is ready and who isn't, and why, becomes a topic of multiple discussions. We never really learn the meaning of the film's title, but we do enjoy the work of so many fine actors. You might recall Susan Sarandon played a dying woman more than 20 years ago in STEPMOM (1998), and this movie blends two memorable and recent films: FRANKIE with Isabelle Huppert, and HERE AWHILE with Anna Camp. Saying goodbye is never easy, but it sure beats missing the chance.
  • gradyharp17 October 2020
    Now and again a film comes along that steps into unfamiliar and testy territory and offers an opportunity to reflect on life. BLACKBIRD is such a film. Well written by Christian Torpe and directed by Roger Michell, the film sports a fine cast and manages to tackle a theme of planned termination of life in a very sensitive manner.

    The concept of the plot is rather straightforward: Lily (Susan Sarandon) has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease) and elects to terminated her life before she becomes unable to function. Her physician husband Paul (Sam Neill) has secured a vial of pentobarbital and Lily is scheduled to drink it to end her life, She invites her family to spend a weekend with her to say goodbye: Her rather rigid daughter Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and husband Michael (Rainn Wilson) and son Jonathan (Anson Boon), her daughter Anna (Mia Wasikowska0 and her lesbian lover Chris (Bex Taylor-Klaus), and her lifelong best friend Liz (Lindsay Duncan). The rather testy congregation allows secrets and conflicts to come forth - sibling rivalry and misunderstandings, relationship differences, responses to Lily's planned exit - and Lily wants a 'Christmas' as her final moments with the family. The Christmas works well until some core facts surface that threaten the wishes of Lily to have a peaceful ending. But Lily manages to assuage all problems and bids her family farewell on her terms. 'Life is all about love - love is everything.'

    Susan Sarandon offers a stunning performance worth of the highest awards, and the entire cast is superb. This is a sensitive film on many, many levels - one that deserves a very wide audience, especially in these isolated times when the meaning of family is even more precious.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film start with the introduction of an old couple(Paul, and Lily), and a bunch of people come to their house scene! As turnout, this film is about Paul need to euthanize Lily, after Lily finish spending the last day together with her family and friend! Entire film full of boring conversation, and annoying overuse scene! Such as, overuse of the arguing scene, overuse of the preparing food scene, overuse of the song playing at the background scene, overuse of the drinking scene, overuse of the smoking scene, overuse of the eating scene, and overuse of the aerial sky scene! Make the film unwatchable! Barely laughable scene is, Jennifer copulate with her husband, after pouring the wine at his face! At the end, Paul taking a walk after Lily die! That's it! Wasting time to watch!
  • In 1981,in "whose life is it anyway? " ,Richard Dreyfuss ,paralysed after a car crash ,asked for the right to die :as he was in a hospital ,it was not easy .

    In Europa, some movies about assisted suicide were made in France ("quelques heures de Printemps" )and in Germany (und Morgen Mittag ,bin ich tot" ) but as it is illegal in both countries, death takes place in Switzerland .

    It's easier,so to speak ,for Lily whose husband is a doctor ;she wants to die in dignity and not surrounded by machines ; Susan Sarandon is,as always ,admirable ,and she gets strong support from Sam Neill as his devoted husband .The film is a strong plea for a legitimate choice when there' s only more sufferings in sight ,and who can say he's not concerned with such a harrowing problem?

    Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska ,on the other hand, are given badly written parts ,the umpteenth version of the sisters at odds with each other, the earnest patronizing one and the unhappy person .And one regrets that there are not more intimate scenes between Lily and Paul ;the very brief scene where he cries in the greenhouse means more to me than the sisters' moanings and whinings .Melodrama often gets in the way of a real tragedy.

    But the young generation (good scene of the rapper) and sensitive Lindsay Duncan's Liz make up for it .

    Anyway ,it's a courageous movie , which people (with a strong heart) must see.
  • sjanders-864302 January 2021
    I don't like this version. I saw Silent Heart and liked it. Something is so ordinary here except the house and surroundings. The characters don't reveal any depth. The screenwriter wrote both the Danish and the American scripts which tells me what he thinks of Americans. He thinks we are boring. He thinks we are cliches. He thinks we live in beautiful homes without heart and soul.
  • 'Blackbird' flies high on the strength of his actors to deliver the emotional clout the movie promises. 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. Unfortunately, the blandness of the story and the lack of interesting (or the overly-familar tropes of) characters cause a detachment to what should have been an emotionally compelling story. It isn't terrible, it's simply very average to its benefit.
  • My Review - Blackbird 2019

    My Rating 9/10

    Earlier this week I witnessed a Friends distress and sadness as a result of a terminal and savagely cruel disease. My friend could no longer communicate with speech as yet another bodily function shut down.

    It made me think would I be as brave as my friend or would I make a decision if I could to be assisted to die in the final stages of life to avoid the same heartbreaking consequences?

    Then when researching a favourite actress of mine Susan Sarandon I was interested to read about Blackbird which is a sensitive and sensible movie about this exact subject and in my opinion not maudlin or depressing in fact I found it uplifting it's a celebration of life before the ravages of terminal illness takes its toll on Lily the main character.

    Blackbird is about Lily played with such intelligence and generosity of spirit by Susan Sarandon . Blackbird is a remake of the 2014 Danish film Silent Heart, also written by Christian Torpe. It stars Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Lindsay Duncan, Rainn Wilson, Bex Taylor-Klaus, and Sam Neill.

    Lily is dying and by the end of this weekend, she'll be dead. She suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is planning to pursue euthanasia with the help of her husband Paul (Sam Neil) a doctor who is able to grant Lily's wish to die with dignity in a State of America where Assisted dying is illegal.

    Lily invites her family and her longtime best friend Liz ( Lindsay Duncan ) to the house so they can spend her final days together. But there's tension between her daughters, the uptight Jennifer (Kate Winslett) and the wayward Anna, ( Mia Wasikowska) and it threatens to destroy her perfectly laid-out plan.

    Susan Sarandon of course is the Central character Lily but her generosity of spirit allows each of these superb performers to shine in their respective roles.

    Sam Neil an Actor that I think has just grown better and better in his mature years is Lily's husband and just perfect as he tries to balance the pain of losing his life partner with trying to negotiate their 2 daughter's antagonistic polar opposite personalities and life styles.

    I had empathy with all the characters in the movie even prissy proper Jennifer (Kate Winslett) who accompanied by her nerdy husband Michael and son Jonathan ,Lily's beloved Grandson played beautifully by Anson Boon ,he's delightful and probably the most balanced and sensible character in the family.

    The characters for me that added the most interesting dynamic to this great script written by Christian Torpe who also wrote the novel "Silent Heart" that the film is adapted from were Anna played by talented Australian actress Mia Wasikowska and her same sex partner Chris played by Bex Taylor - Klaus.

    There's always a family dinner in these type of family gatherings and this one starts off beautifully with a pre Christmas celebration as Lily's last request but after a ritual joint is passed around to each guest an emotional firestorm is released.

    I've seen a few good movies about last gatherings of friends and family and euthanasia especially during the AIDS years like "It's My Party." 1996 where the main character Nick "Eric Roberts", is nearing the end of a 3-year battle with AIDS and makes arrangements to die. He hosts a party to say goodbye to friends and family.

    Also a particularly the great episode 11 of "Grace and Frankie." In Episode 11, when longtime friend and legendary party-thrower Babe (Estelle Parsons) who has terminal cancer drops by to reminisce with Frankie about old times they go shopping so they can throw the "party to end all parties," and Babe asks her old friend's assistance in going to "the one place you don't come back from"

    Blackbird I think is the best movie on this subject I've seen it's beautifully directed by Roger Michell who has gave us many fine movies like Notting Hill , Tea With the Dames and Venus Peter O'Toole's last movie. Sadly Blackbird was Roger Mitchell's 2nd last movie he died this year and I'm looking forward to seeing his last film ""The Duke " starring Jim Broadbent.

    While I was watching Blackbird I kept thinking the look of the film was more European than American so I wasn't surprised to read that the beachside house used in the film is located next to Kate Winslet's own home near West Wittering in West Sussex, with the South Coast of Englanddoubling for The Hamptons.

    "Blackbird " is a fine film in my opinion I'm so glad Susan Sarandon stepped in to replace the original choice for Lily Dianne Keaton I haven't enjoyed her recent movies at all and think she would have been wrong in this .

    I can understand why Blackbird was the Audience Award Winner for 2019 at the U. S. Cinema Indie film festival.
  • A really movieg film. Some could blame it to be too much "into your face" but it still moved me to the core as it Made me asking how I would handle a situation like that and the more you think about it the more it depresses you. But in a good way as the film's story really challenges you with morality and along with that tells a great story about love and family bonding. The acting is superb. Susan Sarandon finally gets to show in a great huge role again and she really nails it. She adds a lot of sarcasm to it which helps the make her character appealing and convincing, especially considering the struggle she has inside her. Kate Winslet is very calm here and leaves the field for Sarandon. Winslet has some really good moments and built her character well. Mia Wasikowska has the juicier role and is good, too. I loved Sam Neill whose characters tries everything to make the atmosphere positive and hold everything together. Good support by Lindsay Duncan as well. A very intimate film by Roger Michell and a film that deserves much more attention than it received. Yes, it leaves you depressed. And yes it leaves you with a lot of questions but important ones. Really moving and well acted ensemble piece.
  • IN A NUTSHELL: Blackbird is a dramatic film by Roger Michell and presented by Screen Media, a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" entertainment company. It's a melancholy remake of the 2014 Danish film called Silent Heart. Written by Christian Torpe, this movie is packed full with some incredible performances by Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Rainn Wilson, Sam Neill, Mia Wasikowska, and Lindsay Duncan. It addresses the right of a terminally-ill person to decide how to die and be remembered.

    "To wonderful life!"

    TIPS FOR PARENTS: Kids will be bored. So will some adults. Profanity and lots of F-bombs Lesbian relationship A scene when everyone smokes pot Lots and lots of wine Talk of "hookers and blow" An "intimate" toy is given as a gift.

    THEMES: Love Life and death Suicide Dying gracefully Family Friendship Terminal illness Saying goodbye Free will Being selfish Time Infidelity Fear Legality and morality of ending one's life because of illness

    THINGS I LIKED: Susan Sarandon gives an excellent performance. She also played a terminally ill mother who tried to prepare her children for her imminent death in Stepmom. It would be tough playing someone with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), trying to remember which body parts weren't supposed to work in every scene. I read a review where the critic claimed she forgot in one scene, but I didn't catch that at all. Wow, what a beautiful home and piece of property. I loved seeing Lindsay Duncan again. I thought she was absolutely luminous in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Beautiful cinematography by Mike Eley. Rainn Wilson's fun facts were entertaining. He delivered a perfect "milk toast" personality. I actually liked the idea of dedicating time to just one person. In the case of this movie, it was the entire Thanksgiving long weekend, but wouldn't it be a cool tradition to pick one day for each person in your family and do whatever they wanted to make them feel special and alive and loved? The gift exchange scene made me tear up. While there are some cliches, there was also some character development and ideas to think about. There were a few reveals that kept me interested. I actually found the blinking bow-tie that Rainn Wilson's character wears! Check it out!

    THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: Maybe I blinked or something, but I missed why the movie was called Blackbird. There is a very small reference to Nina Simone but her song Blackbird Feat. Nina Simone isn't even played in the movie. Some viewers have criticized the movie for being boring with nothing happening. You have to watch the movie for the characters and their own development to appreciate it. I laughed out loud at the sheer amount of crumbs on the kitchen table that Lindsay Duncan wiped up during one of the scenes early on in the film. Some conversations are spoken in whispers, making it extremely difficult to hear what is being said. The story and its telling are fairly manipulative, but how else could you approach this subject without that feeling? The biggest problem is that the story and characters are nothing we haven't already seen before.

    You can see the rest of my review on my Movie Review Mom Youtube channel and website.
  • ALS is taking Susan's life - and her family gathers to say goodbye to her as she prepares to euthanize herself. Its wildly uncomfortable, but Winslet and the other family members kill the acting.
  • Mom has a degenerative disease and decides to end her life. Her husband, best friend, 2 daughters and their partners and one grandchild come together for a last weekend. Everything about this film is pretty predictable - guess what? The family is seething with secret ( or not so) resentments, hurts and jealousies. And it all comes out in what often feels like a play with exaggerated expressions and emotions. Still, there are some great actors here and the writer has created a touching, sad but often comical piece of work. It kept me interested and everyone is great in their roles.
  • Emotionally charged and expertly acted; "Blackbird"might have flaws but you are somehow able to look passed them in this gut-wrenching film.

    In this drama based on the 2014 Danish film "Silent Heart", a terminally ill mother arranges to bring her family together one last time before she dies.

    Susan Sarandon is sensational in "Blackbird", as the woman struggling with her terminal illness and trying to make peace within her family. The film is well written and directed by Roger Michell and often offers laughs amidst the drama. There are moments of melodrama but it's easy to look passed that when you have a stellar cast like this. I think Sarandon should be nominated for something, as I'm still thinking about her performance days after seeing it. A drama that's well worth the watch.

    Follow @snobmedia for all reviews!
  • SamJamie2 February 2021
    6/10
    6/10
    Lily and Paul summon their loved ones to their beach house for one final gathering before Lily decides to end her long battle with ALS. The couple plans a loving weekend complete with holiday traditions, but the mood becomes strained when unresolved issues surface between Lily and her daughters Jennifer and Anna.

    First of all, this is nowhere near a one-star movie. It baffles me how people can give a film like this the lowest possible score when the movie has good points and bad, definitely amounting to a higher score than aforementioned.

    First of all the subject of Blackbird is an interesting examination of end-of-life, packing a sometimes overly-emotional punch, illuminating not only Lily's end but the entirety of a precious life well lived. The film boasts a terrific leading performance from Sarandon, keeping things focused and always demanding your attention. Whilst Winslet's performance as her overbearing daughter is also splendid to watch. The film as a whole though feels rather empty, it's a heavy subject that is given a light touch when it comes to its emotional weight. The subject matter feels diluted by staying on the surface and never going too deep with these characters' conflicts. The film is worth watching for a few note-worthy performances but it's not a film to write home about.
  • The emotions and feelings of the characters do not cause an impact due to the lack of development of the characters.

    The end of the film is predictable, although at first it can be emotional, then there is not much development of the characters or what they feel turning the film without much emotional depth, which is what is expected of a predictable conclusion. The plot twist has no weight in the story, Susan Sarandon's performance is not convincing, contrary to the performances of the rest of the cast, especially Kate Winslet, which are very good. Some characters do not have any development and others feel empty since their feelings are not investigated. The film has good photography.

    It wants to be emotional but it is not because of the lack of character development, a crucial part of a film that touches on sensitive issues.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Damn good movie, actually...made with a julia roberts who still hadn''t quite made her mark on the business... anyways...stepmom centers around one of the main characters(really---susan sarandon), eventually finding out she has terminal cancer... the soundtrack was another outstanding John Williams work... If nothing else, i suggest to compare the two... But whatever you do...don''t miss ''Stepmom'''. Also stars Ed Harris... how can you miss...right?
  • ricky_dry_county7 February 2021
    1) Spectacular cast, which lets you look past the fact that it's a remake (I haven't watched the original) 2) Great acting by Kate Winslet (as a dork) except while delivering one cringy line. Sam Neill obviously nails the crying scenes to perfection. 3) The tone is very off putting at times. I'm not sure but the Americanised crass way of bringing up the topic of death every 5 seconds by the younger cast, felt exhausting (is that in the original too?) 4) The g@y thing is handled very well and doesn't seem forced by today's standards.
  • Overprivileged White family with bickering siblings and a dying mom: there is little that is new with this. A remake of SENSE & SENSIBILITY can't be far behind.

    Susan Sarandon brings nothing new, which is expected and still disappointing. Even surrounded by a shockingly top-drawer cast, Sarandon manages to keep this from punching its way out of its genre.

    As expected, Sam Neill, Kate Winslet and Lindsay Duncan deliver top-flight performances without leaving newer actors in the dust. They are generous co-stars.

    Glad I saw this once, but I doubt I'll revisit it as I've done with other "fatality of the week" films. The upside: this film addresses the right of a terminally ill person to chart their course with dignity.
  • sampah7025 November 2021
    Kate Winslet has old genes but not in a good way. She's always look too old for her age. She's already looked old in Titanic when she's practically a teenager then. Her husband in this film is also ugly, a far stepback from de Caprio from Titanic.

    Susan Sarandon was one of the most stunning actress, *was* is the keyword.

    The girl from the newest Alice in Wonderland movie didn't do much acting here as some spoiled, entitled, screwed-up, like pretty much every american girl today.

    I wonder why they didn't mentioning anything about prom-night, usually every american movie like this will always say something abut prom-night, it's their most importantest event for every american, like, ever.
  • First of all I will say that this film and the characters are full of privilege. That she is able to summon her family to this beautiful scenery and enormous house and her husband, the Dr, can facilitate this for her...that is some wealthy privilege. But if you put that aside (I tried) it does ask some really important questions about quality of life and dignity in death. Why can't we choose the manner and time of our passing if we know it is near? If we want to retain some control in a life of uncertainty. Why have a funeral full of people with regrets and words not spoken? Say those last words. Have a good bye. On your terms. I think we should be going this way as a society so I'm glad this movie showed it as a positive. Very well acted, especially all the women.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What a wonderful yet sad movie that pulls at the heart strings about a mother who is dying and chooses not to live her life on a machine and eating from a tube getting her family to come and be with her until her final moments Susan sarandon is just incredible and you really feel for her character as the suffering mother with an incurable disease who chooses to go free but with her family by her side Kate winslet Rainn Wilson Mia Wasikowska were all great and hsow there emotions quite beautifully and through out the 97 minutes you are taken in to the story waiting to see how the ending will be this is the kind of movie that most people might like but for me it's my king of film that kept me wondering and laughing and curious but also smiling thou it might be a sad movie it has it's upsides to make you feel good light hearted and some time surprised but when same neil cries you almost cry with him and Mia Wasikowska as the daughter who has problems you never really know just how bad it was for her until later and how kate winslet is treating her like a child not knowing what really is going on but man this is a flim that will glue you make you cry make you smile and at some points have you laughing
  • allisonjoys15 January 2021
    I did not like the family. I normally like movies with various family issues- quirky traits. This family was dysfunctional in a perfect way. Even the assisted suicide was too perfect.

    I don't disagree with the main theme, but the plot twist at the end was a bit gross. Love is not interchangeable like a pair of sunglasses.
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