|Directed by||Glendyn Ivin|
|Edited by||Maria Papoutsis|
|Music by||Marcelo Zarvos|
|Box office||$6.3 million|
Penguin Bloom is a 2020 Australian drama film directed by Glendyn Ivin, from a screenplay by Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps, and is based on the book of the same name by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive. It stars Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln and Jacki Weaver. The book and film are based on a true story of Sam and Cameron Bloom's family and their interactions with an Australian magpie named 'Penguin'.
During a family vacation in Thailand, Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts) accidentally falls off a high balcony and breaks her T6 thoracic vertebrae resulting in partial paralysis. Back home in Australia, Sam, an avid surfer, struggles to adjust to life in a wheelchair, but is supported by her husband Cameron (Andrew Lincoln), their three sons Noah, Rueben, and Oli, and Sam's overbearing mother Jan (Jacki Weaver).
One afternoon, the three boys find and bring home an injured magpie chick who they name Penguin. Sam is initially despondent to care for Penguin but understands it is important to Noah, and as time goes on, she bonds with her. Noah feels guilty for being the one who asked his mum to go up to the balcony in Thailand and has withdrawn from her since the accident. Sam and Cameron's relationship also deteriorates as she struggles to find joy in daily life and wishes to forget who she was before the fall since she can no longer live in the same way. She demands he never ask her how she is.
After several weeks, Penguin fully recovers and learns to fly, inspiring Sam to want to do something for herself; she starts kayaking lessons. For Sam's birthday, the Blooms go for dinner at Jan's house, joined by Sam's sister Kylie (Leeanna Walsman) and Sam's kayaking instructor Gaye (Rachel House). While Jan and Cameron argue about Sam's new life and their responsibilities to her, Penguin is attacked by two larger birds and then flies away.
Sam eventually confronts Noah about his guilt and tells him he is not to blame for what happened to her. She apologises for being distant and reveals she has found her strength, and the whole family reconcile. Sam asks Cameron to ask her how she is, and when he does, she replies, "I'm better."
Penguin returns home a few days later, and Sam thanks her for helping her recover.
- Naomi Watts as Sam Bloom, Cameron's wife and Jan's daughter.
- Andrew Lincoln as Cameron Bloom, Sam's husband
- Griffin Murray-Johnston as Noah Bloom
- Felix Cameron as Rueben Bloom
- Abe Clifford-Barr as Oli Bloom
- Jacki Weaver as Jan, Sam's mother
- Rachel House as Gaye
- Leeanna Walsman as Kylie
- Lisa Hensley as Bron
The rights to the book were acquired in December 2016 by Bruna Papandrea. Naomi Watts was set to star and to co-produce with Mark Audet, Emma Cooper, and Made Up Stories. In June 2017, Shaun Grant was hired to write the screenplay. By February 2019, Glendyn Ivin was set to direct, and in July Andrew Lincoln, Jacki Weaver and Rachel House were added to the cast.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 67% approval rating based on 84 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Penguin Bloom's fact-based story could have been adapted with greater nuance, but strong work from Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln adds some much-needed heart." According to Metacritic, which sampled 17 critics and calculated a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, the film received "mixed or average reviews".
|AACTA Awards||December 8, 2021||Best Film||Emma Cooper||Nominated|||
|Best Direction||Glendyn Ivin||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Harry Cripps||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Naomi Watts||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Jacki Weaver||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Sam Chiplin||Nominated|
|Best Original Music Score||Marcelo Zarvos||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Annie Beauchamp||Nominated|
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- Watts, Naomi. "Day #1 of the long awaited #PenguinBloom movie. We are so proud to tell this powerful story Meet the fabulous cast and my co-star Gerry (who just might steal the movie) playing @penguinthemagpie Here we go! ❤️🇦🇺". Instagram. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
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- "PENGUIN BLOOM SOARS TO NUMBER ONE". FilmInk. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
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- "Winners & Nominees".