Penguin Bloom (Drama) [True Story] (2020)
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Writer: Shaun Grant, Harry Cripps, Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive (Based on book by)
Stars: Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln, Rachel House, Griffin Murray-Johnston
Young mother Sam (Naomi Watts) gets injured during a trip to Italy leaving her paralyzed. Husband Cameron (Andrew Lincoln) and their children struggle to adjust to what happened soon welcoming a new addition to the family in the form of an injured magpie called Penguin.
Based upon the book written by Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive, Penguin Bloom is a heart-warming and family-minded story with the Bloom family and their unusual household inclusion at its centre.
Despite its simplicity, the recreation does the real story justice, using an endearing storyline supported by award-worthy acting, which is no surprise with Watts and Lincoln at the forefront establishing the family. Penguin Bloom’s popularity has surged, and Lincoln is actually a pleasant surprise returning to film after spending the majority of his time on The Walking Dead and related projects. Those familiar with Lincoln will know of his range besides playing a rough and tumble zombie killer, and to those unfamiliar, it will be a welcome adjustment. Watts character Sam works well as a caring mother trying to keep the family in line from her wheelchair or bed-bound position.
Such an example of a drama film is not seen often as it falls in this valley of being calm and easily digestible, not incredibly unique or engaging but managing to captivate just enough with a multitude of hidden messages and deeper meaning for those that approach it with the right perspective.
Perhaps some deeper meanings within are too on-the-nose. Still, many viewers will connect to the nested story of Sam wanting to be treated as she once was, not as a paraplegic that needs careful nurturing; the grandmother serves as the antagonist in this narrative. All characters strewn throughout Penguin Bloom feel balanced as they come together in a tapestry of hardship and recovery.
As an endearing yet captivating tale, the individual strings fill their purpose, creating an emotional yet uplifting story. The simplicity on the outset is almost a front to topics layered beneath, injury and bonding to an animal serve as a vessel for much more.
A lovely blooming relationship between parent, child, and bird.