The film itself can be explicitly divided into two parts which peculiarly embody life and death. The first part, full of ironic jests and black humour (chiefly about the death itself and coming from Lily directly), shows the family's reunion and little wrangles during Christmas preparations. Though this part may seem so cozy in a family way, it simultaneously discloses all the relationships' breaches: Jennifer and Anna keep nagging at each other with no reason at all; Jonathan opens up about his desire to become an actor which is totally unaccepted by everybody except his dying grandmother; Jennifer's irritated by Elizabeth who is so close to the family that has been almost on every vacation together with Lily and Paul for many years.
The second part commences with "Christmas". But even Lily's attempts to keep this very last weekend normal and even a bit more exceptional — decorating the Christmas tree, preparing festive food, handing out specially selected gifts for each of the family members — don't meet with success. And this time it's Anna who blows up in the midst of the celebration accusing her mother of egoism, of not really knowing her own children and not even trying to get to know them better.
This is where the family bomb, which has been ticking for a long time, finally explodes. In a burst of anger and despair Anna informs Jennifer of her intention to thwart the settled plan and to call 911 when their mother is about to take the medicine. On Sunday morning, which is supposed to be the last one for Lily, another mystery unravels — about Paul having an affair with Elizabeth, which Jennifer has been suspecting him of for a long time. The apogee of all this turmoil is Lily confessing she's been aware of Paul and Elizabeth's relationships since the beginning — in addition, she even supports them. Here eventually comes the general stupefaction, and when Lily pronounces "It's time now", everybody has to acquiesce.
Blackbird happens to be a pure example of how the symbolism penetrates the very sense of what's happening on the screen. The title itself refers to many varied perceptions of the bird which, depending on the culture, can be a good omen or a harbinger of something eerie. In Christianity it's often equated to the devil while Feng Shui proclaims the blackbird a symbol of longevity or even immortality. This is the reason why the principal matter of Blackbird can be comprehended ambiguously.