Christopher, a professional "death" salesman, has a hard time getting a fabulously picky customer to close a deal.
She wants to go as comfortably and elegantly as possible, but Christopher can't seem to please her, offering her a variety of deaths that just can't seem to get it right. She wants a perfect "grand" ending to her life, something "like in the movies."
But then he finds something perfectly unique to her sensibilities, which offers her everything she wanted -- including one moment of emotion she didn't quite bargain for.
Director Dael Oates offers an eccentric, wry short tale of magic realism and fantasy, mixing arch black comedy with an examination of death and mortality.
The film is anchored a wonderfully comic performance from legendary Australian theater actress Robyn Nevins, who plays the fabulous, precise "customer," a grande dame who wants just the right ending to her life.
Ewen Leslie plays off her well, striking notes of sincerity and deviousness in a performance that essays death as both a work of art and a thing of business.
These performances are framed by glossy photography and beautiful production design, which give the film a luxurious, stylized look. Subtle special effects are used throughout, putting an uncanny touch to a glamorous but cloistered world onscreen.
"Death In Bloom" begins with a playful metaphysical premise, but elevates what could be a simple joke into a droll encounter between death and a not-quite-everyday woman. Philosophical at heart and stylish in execution, the film offers both a confrontation that mortality is something we ultimately can't control -- and a gentle knowing laugh at the illusion that we still try, no matter what.