A paraplegic in a film, Naomi Watts overcomes tragedy with the help of an injured bird


Known to audiences for films such as King Kong (2005) and The Impossible (2012), Naomi Watts faces a new family drama in An Unexpected Miracle. In the film inspired by true events, Sara Bloom is paralyzed after an accident while traveling to Thailand. The nurse, then, goes through a depressive period and only begins to overcome the tragedy by taking care of an injured bird – which cannot fly.

The story begins with Noah (Griffin Murray-Johnston), Cameron Bloom’s (Andrew Lincoln) and Sara’s Sara (Naomi’s) eldest son, narrating the family’s trajectory. The boy explains that his mother has always been an active woman, in love with the sea and who practiced surfing with her three children and her husband.

However, an accident during a vacation trip drastically changes everyone’s life. The matriarch falls off a roof and loses leg movement. The Blooms then try to adapt to the new reality by returning to Australia.

The film treats the character’s period of depression with great sensitivity, and focuses on all the woman’s efforts to look good in front of her children — even though she is emotionally destroyed and in constant pain.

No longer seeing herself as the person she was before, Sara even breaks the various picture frames that showed her happy before the accident — in a scene very similar to the one starred by Sam Claflin in How I Was Before You (2016 ).

A new beginning

Their lives only begin to take on new meaning when Noah rescues an injured bird on the beach. Called Penguin, the bird becomes a pet and is cared for by the family. “It must be weird to have wings and not be able to fly,” observes the boy at one point.

There is, then, a parallel between the bird’s recovery and that of Sara herself — which is even against the animal’s permanence in the beginning. But the matriarch eventually clings to the bird and begins to regain her will to live while taking care of it.

Little by little, Penguin manages to reunite the family that has been moving away since the tragedy that hit the protagonist. There’s even an exciting scene with a “settlement of scores” between Blooms so that everyone can move forward and face the challenges of the new reality together.

Directed by Glendyn Ivin, the film is based on the book Penguin Bloom, written by Cameron Bloom. The cast also features Jacki Weaver, Felix Cameron, Abe Clifford-Barr and Lisa Hensley.

With the exclusive label Première, An Unexpected Miracle premieres on Telecine Premium this Saturday (17th), at 10 pm. The film will also be available on network streaming.

Watch the trailer: