The human spirit is never to be underestimated and Penguin Bloom is a case study in overcoming terrible events. Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts) is an athletic and outgoing mother of three, who surfs, hikes, and loves her man, Cam (Andrew Lincoln). Their life is an idyllic one. They live in a wonderful house with an amazing view overlooking the ocean.
Things couldn’t be more perfect, until an accident while on vacation in Thailand leaves Sam paralysed from the waist down. She is miserable with her new situation and becomes increasingly detached from her loving family, especially her oldest son Noah (Griffin Murray-Johnston).
When Noah brings an injured magpie home to help it heal, it starts a chain of events that transforms Sam and leads to her both dealing with her condition and realising her love for her family. These events are presented with little uncertainty and when combined with the beautiful surroundings lead to a rather shallow experience. Based on a nonfiction book of the same name, it should have had more impact.
The film is beautiful to look at and capitalises on some amazing natural light. All of the cast members do a good job but the always stellar Jacki Weaver and the high profile Andrew Lincoln are given little to do. Naomi Watts is very competent but the story is predictable enough to drain a lot of the emotion out of it. It is entertaining and looks fantastic but could have been so much more.