Susan Sarandon Previews the Humor of Amazon’s Moving ‘Blackbird’

Blackbird - Susan Sarandon
Amazon Prime Video

Family gatherings can be a powder keg, with secret animosities hidden just beneath the smiles. All it takes is one comment to set things off.

In the case of Connecticut matriarch Lily (Susan Sarandon), dire news lights the match in Blackbird: After a battle with ALS, she has decided to end her life and wants one last weekend with husband Paul (Sam Neill), daughters Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Anna (Mia Wasikowska), their respective partners Michael (Rainn Wilson) and Chris (Bex Taylor-Klaus), her grandson and an old friend.

Blackbird cast

(Credit: Screen Media Films / Courtesy Everett Collection)

“Can we all behave as normally as possible?” Lily asks them. Fat chance.

Her resolute decision affects the attendees differently, leading to shouting matches and so-wrong-they’re-funny moments. (Lily urges them to spend their inheritance on “hookers and blow.”)

Director Roger Michell “brought to the story a lot of humor and didn’t go in a sentimental way,” notes Sarandon. It’s a welcome touch to a moving film.

Blackbird, Streaming now, Amazon Prime Video