What We're Watching: Penguin Bloom

October 4, 2023
What We're Watching: Penguin Bloom

Premiering at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival, Penguin Bloom is a poignant Australian drama that tugs at the heartstrings and offers up a dose of charm. Based on a true story and the inspiring book that true story inspired, this film navigates the tumultuous journey of a family grappling with tragedy.

At its core, Penguin Bloom tells the true story of Sam Bloom (played by Naomi Watts), a vibrant woman whose life takes a devastating turn during a vacation in Thailand. A harrowing fall leaves her mostly paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury, forcing her to return home and confront an overwhelmingly unfamiliar reality. The film delves into the challenges Sam faces as she grapples with her new life  and the profound question of how to be an engaged and responsive mother to her three young children in her new reality of having to be dependent on her husband for even the smallest tasks. 

As Sam plunges deeper into despair, an unexpected addition to the family arrives in the form of an injured magpie, lovingly named Penguin by one of her sons. Sam gradually forms an inexplicable bond with the bird and it's through this connection that she begins to see a glimmer of hope – if Penguin can heal and thrive despite adversity, then perhaps there's a chance for Sam to do the same.

Penguin Bloom is a heartwarming exploration of resilience, redemption, and the power of unexpected companionship. Naomi Watts shines in her portrayal of Sam, bringing depth and authenticity to her character's emotional journey.

In a world of big-budget blockbusters and high-octane action films, the pace of Penguin Bloom feels gentle, real and refreshing. Watching it, I loved the many reminders of the beauty of ordinary moments and the healing power of unexpected friendships. It's definitely one to add to your watch list this month (and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did).

Where can you watch Penguin Bloom? On Netflix from your own comfy couch. Or better yet, bring a few friends together for a Connected Women watch party (just make sure you take a pic and tag us on Instagram at @connectedwomenclub so we can be a part of the fun!).

Written by Alice Abba

Sharing my love of all things adventure, travel, food & fun at Connected Women