Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Netflix from director Glendyn Ivin is the story of when life changes and brings more than one could think possible with PENGUIN BLOOM.

The Bloom family is extremely active, especially Mom Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts). Loving the beach and water, Sam brings that love to her children Noah (Griffin Johnston), Rueben (Felix Cameron) and Oli (Abe Barr). Dad Cameron (Andrew Lincoln) is a photographer that captures all their adventures.

On a trip to Thailand, the Bloom family explores and in one fateful second, Sam is injured. Now the ordinary Bloom household is living a different life. Cameron is handling the boys, a wife who seems to have disconnected from the family and a photography business.. While walking the beach, Noah finds an abandoned Magpie bringing him home. Everyone except Sam has instantly fallen in love with the baby bird given the name ‘Penguin’.

Sam does everything possible to avoid Penguin but the chatty and attention seeking bird makes her presence known. It forces Sam to do things she had been avoiding since the injury. Once Penguin flies, Sam has realizations of her own that it is time to face that her life may be different but the love of her sons and husbands has not changed.

It is also time to know that what happened, happened to them all – until Penguin!

Other cast include Essie Johnston as young Noah, Leanna Walsman as Kylie, Gia Carides as Megan, Rachel House as Gaye and Jacki Weaver as Jan.

Watts as Sam is a woman who is used to being extremely active in her life. As with serious injuries, there is an emotional component that can be so overwhelming that all else is put aside. Angry, frustrated and full of self-doubt, it takes a bird to bring to the forefront everything that she was avoiding. Watts, even when trying to be upset, is stuffing down what her character is really feeling, and she is so good at it.

Lincoln as Cameron has made a reappearance which should make all the Rick fans of The Walking Dead. In this role he is struggling to be a supportive father and husband when he really has not had much of an opportunity to grasp the life change either. Constantly looking for ways for Sam to come out of her shell, a bird gives him moments of joy during his own struggle. Lincoln gives his character hope, even if Sam does not recognize it.

Johnston as Noah is handling the adjustment in his own way. Keeping his distance from Sam, there is something deeper going through this young boy that needs to come to the surface. Finding Penguin is Noah’s opportunity to feel something other than what he does. The story of the Bloom’s is told through his eyes and they are full of truth and pain.

And to all the Penguin’s – Gerry, Clipper, Eugene, Maggie May, Mavis, Pew, Pip, Windell, Swoop and Hollywood. I have always adored Magpie’s and each one of you reminded me why.

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PENGUIN BLOOM is a story of a family who never saw a change coming and when faced with it are confused, hiding their feelings and walking on eggshells. The arrival of Penguin the Magpie forces in a loving, if not loud chatty way, to remember what it is like to love unconditionally. This winged creature accepts the Bloom family as her family and does not differentiate.

It is clear that Penguin loves each of the Bloom’s equally and enjoys their company in so many ways. I think the best scene is the cuddling between Sam and Penguin because that is a sign of trust and something Watts character needed to relearn.

This is a film that teaches the Bloom’s to reinvent themselves, find their happy place again and embrace one another with the love they have all been missing. It’s a great reminder of how important we all are to one another, no matter what our species.

In the end – this is a family that needs to find its wings!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.