When an unlikely ally enters the Bloom family’s world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin, the bird’s arrival makes a profound difference in the struggling family’s life.
- Sam Bloom: Naomi Watts
- Cameron Bloom: Andrew Lincoln
- Noah Bloom: Griffin Murray-Johnston
- Rueben Bloom: Felix Cameron
- Oli Bloom: Abe Clifford-Barr
- Jan: Jacki Weaver
- Gaye Hatfield: Rachel House
- Megan: Gia Carides
- Kylie: Leeanna Walsman
- Bron: Lisa Hensley
- Skater: Randolph Fields
- Producer: Naomi Watts
- Production Design: Annie Beauchamp
- Producer: Bruna Papandrea
- Original Music Composer: Marcelo Zarvos
- Producer: Steve Hutensky
- Executive Producer: Joel Pearlman
- Director: Glendyn Ivin
- Screenplay: Harry Cripps
- Screenplay: Shaun Grant
- Producer: Emma Cooper
- Sound: Chris Goodes
- Executive Producer: Ricci Swart
- Editor: Maria Papoutsis
- Producer: Jodi Matterson
- Novel: Bradley Trevor Greive
- Director of Photography: Sam Chiplin
- Executive Producer: Meryl Metni
- Novel: Cameron Bloom
- Costume Designer: Joanna Mae Park
- VFX Artist: Rui Li
- Steve Parker: A lovely family movie with a straightforward, inspiring, uplifting story. Based on the true story of Sam Bloom who was paralysed from the chest down following a fall from the roof of a building when holidaying in Italy with her family.
Naomi Watts, who plays Sam, brings her experience as an actor to the story along with, of course, the trainer of the magpies who starred in the movie (ten of them!). Watts does a great job of portraying the physical and emotional impact of paralysis and there are some heart-rending scenes where she struggles with her new life along with her husband and children. The kids in the movie do a great job of playing authentic children, especially the one who introduces Penguin to the family.
The film is beautifully photographed and the magpies, who play Penguin, are brilliant. They steal the show every time they are on screen.
My one criticism of PENGUIN BLOOM is that it doesn’t tell us enough about the past and present of Sam Bloom, leaving that to a few facts at the end of the movie.
While this is, in my view, a family film, it does have a few themes that might be difficult for young children, so parents may want to see it first before watching it with their younger kids.
PENGUIN BLOOM, based on the book of the same name, is an old-fashioned movie and avoids sentimentalism and sappiness. Delightful.
- SWITCH.: ‘Penguin Bloom’ is a good tear-jerker based on a true story; it’s another film along with ‘The Dry’ that proves Australia is capable of making strong movies showcasing great talent in front of and behind the camera. Grab some tissues and someone you can hug, and go see ‘Penguin Bloom’ in cinemas!
– Chris dos Santos
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