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Blackbird
Directed by Roger Michell
Out September 18

Minutes into Blackbird, we know how it will end: Lily (Susan Sarandon) is going to die. Diagnosed with a terminal illness that will cause gradual physical deterioration, Lily decides that she’d rather take her death into her own hands—she’s going to swallow a lethal combination of pills. But first, she wants her whole family to visit for one last weekend. Lily and her husband are joined by her longtime best friend, Liz (Lindsay Duncan), and her two clashing daughters, the rules-oriented Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and the more rebellious Anna (Mia Wasikowska). Rounding out the group are Jennifer’s dorky husband, their quiet teenage son, and Anna’s off-again, on-again partner. As the weekend progresses, these characters are challenged to put aside their differences, confront their respective grievances and secrets, and find a way to say goodbye to the family’s matriarch.

An American adaptation of the 2014 Danish film Silent Heart, this story feels familiar, and the plot twists and dramatic apexes are easy to predict. Yet, largely thanks to superb performances from the ensemble cast, smaller moments of connection and catharsis are genuinely touching, and the characters’ relationships—with each other and to the family as a unit—come across as beautifully complicated, emotional, and true. (3/5)

By Lydia Wang
Photo credit: Parisa Taghizadeh

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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