#REVIEW: “PENGUIN BLOOM”
By Mr. Will Wong
After its Premiere at TIFF ’20, Glendyn Ivin‘s PENGUIN BLOOM is ready to take flight as it arrives on Netflix. The inspiring true story based on the Novel of the same name by Photographer Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Grieve, centers on Bloom and his wife Sam’s time with an injured Magpie which they nursed back to strength. Sam had endured an injury in Thailand which left her paralyzed, and her family grappling with this catastrophic change. The Magpie, named Penguin arrives at a time which helps the family navigate this tragedy together.
In addition to starring as Sam, Watts produces the Film which showcases her great work and sympathy for her character’s struggle whether it be in her physical work or how she emotes. The true unsung hero of the Film is Magpie Trainer Paul Manter, who does some phenomenal work helping communicate the story to us through these birds, whether they are perching on Watts‘ head in a gorgeous tender moment, being that nuisance at home irritating Sam from her restful state to a well-choreographed fight scene which we have so many questions about in its construction.
While we feel that the Film tells Sam‘s side of the story well through Watt‘s fantastic work, the Film ultimately is a Family Drama about how The Blooms coped with this devastation and overcame it and we wish this aspect of PENGUIN BLOOM was treated with just a bit more detail and care, as it might not speak enough to the family’s standpoint. Regardless, the Film is held together completely on the strength of Watts being its heart and soul and it amounts to an experience that tugs on the heartstrings.
PENGUIN BLOOM arrives on Netflix Wednesday, January 27, 2021.