Penguin Bloom, the healing bird

In this moving Netflix film, a magpie pulls a paraplegic mother out of her apathy.

An unlikely playing partner. In the Netflix movie Penguin bloom, Naomi Watts gives the reply to … a magpie! Based on a true story, this Australian family film by Glendyn Ivin on disability is of rare tenderness and frankness without pathos or simplistic happy ending.

Following a fall on vacation, Sam, a nurse and mother passionate about surfing, loses the use of her legs. The return home perched on a hill in Sidney that overlooks these beaches that Sam (Naomi Watts in a role similar to that of The Impossible) can no longer pace and is all the more cruel.

To this tattered life is added a suffering and rebellious body. Despite the support of her husband (Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead) and their three boys, Sam sinks into depression until one day a baby magpie fallen from the nest is taken in by one of her children. Between the bird in distress and the tried mother of a family, a complicity is established.

The price of resilience

Advised by the real Sam who allowed them to film at home, Naomi Watts captures the rage, anger, limited mobility of her heroine to whom a transfer between her wheelchair and her bed requires a colossal effort and sometimes results in a fall. On the ground. Antithesis of the painful Everyone standing where Alexandra Lamy was prancing, Penguin bloom shows the price of resilience. This mischievous bird, which breaks trinkets and gets stuck in jars of honey, allows Blooms to relearn how to communicate, helps them no longer repress their regrets, their unspoken and their guilt. Sam’s reconstruction to tame this new normal is illustrated by innocuous gestures and can only speak to us as the coronavirus epidemic forces us to adapt and to mourn our habits.


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