Penguin Bloom | Formulaic but Somewhat Engaging

This true Australian tale is ripped from the headlines because this family’s story was covered in the media a few years ago. There’s a great 60 minutes Australia episode that can be found on YouTube and a book of the same name by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive. The movie was directed by Glendyn Ivin (The Cry) stars Noami Watts (Allegiant) Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead), Jacki Weaver (Bird Box), Rachel House (Soul, Thor: Ragnorok), Leanna Walsman (2067, Cleverman) Lisa Hensley (Palm Beach).

Premise: A photographer and his family take in an injured Magpie and find hope and solace, helping them adjust to his wife’s paralysis following a fall.

Review: I knew the story had tragic elements in it but didn’t think they would come so quickly and suddenly. In that sense it reflects life, tragedy is often a surprising and that’s what this movie is about, the curveballs that life throws at you but more importantly the ways in which we recover.

The story is touching, cozy, and little dark. However, it has a similar rhythm that a lot of these movies have. If you’ve seen any movies about family tragedies or physical trauma, you’ll recognize the formula. This movie only stands out by the actors’ performances, Watts, Lincoln, and House in particular. They do an amazing job in the film, which helps the story. As good as the performances are, I can’t help but wonder if I’m not filling in what’s not there or implied because I’m very familiar with the formula.

Penguin Bloom has a beautiful story that might make you cry but it’s predictable and formulaic. I still enjoyed the movie because it has been a while since I’ve watched such a film.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

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