Bernie (2011)

RICHARD LINKLATER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 2011, , Detour Filmproduction, , , .  Screenplay by Richard Linklater, , based on the article in Texas Monthly by Skip Hollandsworth.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Richard Linklater, , , , , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 2012.  Gotham Awards 2012.  Independent Spirit Awards 2012National Board of Review Awards 2012.  New York Film Critics Awards 2012

A stranger-than-fiction case of murder and greed in Carthage, Texas, with  portraying an undertaker whose friendship with an ornery widow () is a mystery to the townspeople.  MacLaine has never been liked by anybody but seems to have a kinship with Black, whom most of the town assumes is gay, so they are surprised when the two start acting like a couple by going on vacations together, and then mortified when she goes missing for weeks and is eventually found face down in the garage freezer.  Matthew McConaughey also appears as the district attorney pulled into the melee that occurs when this case becomes a local curiosity, immune to Bernie’s charms and determined to nab him for the crime.  The film also displays the effect the case had on the citizens of Carthage by including interviews with real locals and participants in the case, a droll move in which the real-life talking heads are sometimes more colourful than the actors.  MacLaine’s acerbic and dark take on her Terms of Endearment character spikes up the fictional stuff, but a weak performance by Black, who has the right motions for the character but can never go deep, is likely why this film is passably fun but not particularly memorable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s