by Roger Michell
British movie, 1 h 37
In France, the deaths of the writer Anne Bert, who chose assisted suicide in Belgium, and of the scientist Stephen Hawking, who died at 76 years old after an exceptional longevity, both suffering from Charcot’s disease (or sclerosis amyotrophic lateral (ALS)), in 2018 revived the debate on the end of life.
→ READ. Alain Cocq, an activist end of life
In Blackbird, Lily who suffers from the same disease has decided: at the end of the weekend which begins, she will take with the support of Paul, her doctor husband, barbiturates to put an end to her days before this fatal degenerative disease takes away everything from her. choice. From her last two days, she wants to bid farewell to her family. So she invited her best friend Liz, her eldest daughter Jennifer with her husband and their teenage son, as well as her younger daughter Anna, who came with Chris, her partner, to her beautiful country house.
Blackbird belongs to these films qualified either of overwhelming, or of tear-pullers, according to who speaks about it. It is not excluded that it links these two categories for the same audience. Few of us have the opportunity for a final goodbye to loved ones: sudden death, the absence of a precise deadline in the disease, or even modesty and fear of an emotional hurricane most often prohibit this. conscious and shared time on the verge of separation. While allowing herself to celebrate a Christmas anticipated by several weeks, Lily wants a weekend with the appearances of normalcy. It is asking a lot of his daughters who refuse his choice of early death.
A three-star cast
A three-star cast removes the pitfalls of false ratings. Imperial, Susan Sarandon embodies a woman who looks with panache at maturity and refuses forfeiture. Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska play the two daughters, equally devastated by the announced death of their mother, but who differ in every way: one is stable until it seems psychorigid, the other evolves in a permanent chaos that prevents it. to find its place in society.
→ TRIBUNE. End of life, the link loosened… and tomorrow?
This grueling film conceals delicate moments. Lily who refuses the posture of the grandmother full of wisdom, capable of imparting great lessons of life on the verge of death, humorously invites her grandson to confide in her what he will perhaps only reveal in a few moments. years – confession that she would take to the grave literally. But the very American staging of every moment of life by the characters themselves, here with the concern of showing themselves as a necessarily united family, does not necessarily correspond to our French sensibilities. Finally, the script believes it must regularly revive the attention of spectators by crises and the disclosure of secrets, as if the narrative spring of these last shared hours could not be sufficient without recourse to exhausting vociferations.