A fairly predictable film telling the real-life story of Sam Bloom, played by actress Naomi Watts, who heads with her family for a holiday in Thailand. A freak accident leaves surfer Sam paralysed and in a wheelchair. Back in Australia, no longer able to surf and swim, the beach beckons her from the family’s idyllic beachfront home in Sydney.
Her husband (played by Andrew Lincoln) and three young sons struggle to deal with Sam’s depression but then an injured magpie chick named Penguin is brought home by one of her sons. This chick turns on the magic and with the support of friends and family Sam transforms her life. She takes up kayaking and goes on to dominate the waves once more, achieving great success as an athlete.
Adapted from a 2016 memoir by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive, “Penguin Bloom” is a recovery story that is not subtle. Though beautifully shot with great scenery the handling of Sam’s grief and anger is heavyhanded and almost clumsy.
The penguin(s) is the scene-stealer and out acts the rest of the cast.
Good Sunday movie.