Bernie

BernieBBB

(out of 5)


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.   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.


USA, 2011

Directed by

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


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Golden Globe Award Nomination
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Jack Black)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Supporting Actor (Matthew McConaughey)

Nomination
Best Actor (Jack Black)

National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Supporting Actor (Matthew McConaughey)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Independent Films

Independent Spirit Award Nominations
Best Feature
Best Male Lead (Jack Black)


Bernie

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