Blackbird Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: the script explores the theme of acceptance; Contrary to expectations, the film has a plot development; ironic moments Cons: cliché characters; You expect a better performance from the actors in “A Quiet Heart” / Blackbird

Drama genre
Directed by Roger Michell
Cast: Susan Sarandon (Lily), Kate Winslet (Jennifer), Mia Wasikowska (Anna), Sam Neill (Paul), Lindsay Duncan (Elizabeth), Rainn Wilson (Michael), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Chris), Anson Boone (Jonathan) ) and etc.
Студии Busted Shark Productions, Eclectic Pictures, Millennium Films
Year of release 2020
IMDb website

At least once a year, dramatic films with an impressive cast appear in theaters, which are designed to upset, and then slightly encourage viewers, reminding them of the value of relationships. They are often filmed in conjunction with some holiday in order to gather the whole family in the cinema and show several touching and tearful clichés.

Fortunately, the film “A Quiet Heart” is not tied to a holiday theme, and it does not look like a completely naive melodrama. But the emotional direction in which the film will move is not so difficult to determine.

The film begins with family members and their loved ones gathering in a large parental home. The first to arrive is the pedantic eldest daughter Jennifer (Kate Winslet), accompanied by her all-knowing, boring husband (Rainn Wilson) and teenage son. Next comes an old friend of the family, Elizabeth (Lindsay Duncan), who once shared her hippie youth with the owners of the house. And last to arrive is the youngest daughter, Anna (Mia Wasikowska), who brings her girlfriend along for support. It seems like everyone is there for a typical family weekend, but in reality everyone is there to say goodbye to their mother and friend Lily (Susan Sarandon). She decided to take her own life.


There is something predictable in the film “A Quiet Heart” that deliberately provokes rejection even before it begins. We know that the plot is centered around farewell, we see that the main character is terminally ill and we understand that we will definitely be forced into sentimentality.

To be fair, it should be said that a film with such a seemingly obvious plot still manages to win over you, and somewhere even throws in a little intrigue that brings long-standing secrets to the surface. In this, director Roger Michell (creator of the romantic film Notting Hill) was helped by screenwriter Christian Thorpe.


In fact, Thorpe simply rewrote the script for a Danish drama he had worked on several years ago. It was the story of a woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who wants to die before she loses control of her body (the film can be found under the title Silent Heart). So the new film “A Quiet Heart” (in the English version of Blackbird) is an American adaptation of a drama that has been tested by European viewers, and famous Hollywood actors were invited to star in it.


It can hardly be said that the entire cast does a brilliant job or at least encourages one to get into the story with their emotions (although Susan Sarandon is, of course, always good). Kate Winslet has a rather boring character, and Mia Wasikowski plays an extremely hackneyed and sometimes incomprehensible image of a rebel. So in the film, closer to the climax, it is not sympathy for the actors that works, but something else. This is comprehension of the death of a loved one to whom you need to say goodbye ahead of time. Accepting the patient’s choice or convincing him to stay, dooming himself to physical torment—that’s what can really resonate with an internal monologue.


Plus, “A Quiet Heart” gets a fairly modern basis, which distinguishes it from other films with heavy themes. Here, the older generation approves of any choice of family members, remembers youth in the spirit of Woodstock and is not afraid to set a bad example for their grandchildren. At times, all this seems like an overly idealistic portrait of an American family, but it’s worth the wait – even the friendliest and ironic atmosphere cannot save you from the growing tension.


In short, A Quiet Heart seems like a predictable, tearful drama that you rarely get into the right mood to watch. Perhaps it will indeed evoke sentimentality, but the impressions from the film will be better than expected.


the film is not as predictable and simply tearful as it might seem after watching the trailer.

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