Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 18 May 2012 00:00

'Bernie' charms Carthage, Texas and the audience

filmofilia.com filmofilia.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

About this Media...

As his films show, Richard Linklater has an offbeat take on people in general and humor in particular. His characters are, well, characters with the appealing quirks that make them unique, recognizable, and very human. Drawing on these strengths, director/screenwriter Linklater triumphs with his new film, Bernie.

Titles announce that Bernie is a true story, and it is stranger than fiction in this dramatized narrative blended with documentary style interviews with actors and actual residents of Carthage, East Texas. It’s to Carthage that Bernie Tiede moves to work as an assistant funeral director. Bernie’s lecture on cosmetology for a corpse is a marvelous introductory scene. Quickly he ingratiates himself with the town’s residents. They love Bernie, as everyone from the minister to the church faithful, the farmers to the radio d.j. testify, despite what happens in 1996.

 

Then the cantankerous, ill-mannered Marjorie Nugent buries her husband, and Bernie reacts with his typical kindness. Soon he’s her assistant, financial manager, and servant. When he can’t endure another minute, he kills her and generously uses her income for deserving projects. Once the crime is discovered, district attorney Danny Buck Davidson prosecutes to the dismay of Carthage residents.

 

Linklater’s tongue-in-cheek, droll comedy sometimes surprises; at other times it announces itself and still packs a laugh. His earlier work, including Slacker, Dazed and Confused, and Waking Life, prove his creative approach to story and style on fine display here. If there’s a fault, it’s that no suspense builds, but who cares when considerable pleasure resides in watching the tale unfold and listening to a cross-section of the population as the incredulous realization sinks in—no one wanted Bernie tried. He is just too nice!

 

As Bernie, Jack Black gives the performance of his career. He inhabits Bernie, a solicitous, even obsequious man. Controlled, cautious, and pitch perfect, Black never breaks character. As the obnoxious Marjorie Nugent, Shirley MacLaine bravely refuses to be likable. And Matthew McConaughey already has the native Texas accent and attitude under complete control. One note: do not leave before the credits when the residents versus the actors are revealed plus a silent clip of the real Bernie with Jack Black. At Landmark's Tivoli Theatre.
 

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Search Parties

Tue September 9

KDHX Recommends

September
Saturday
20

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes the old-time country blues of the Thin Dimes for this weekend's concert in the park. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through...


September
Saturday
20

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party Leonard Cohen started out as a poet, and poetry -- ecstatic, spiritual, erotic and political -- suffuses all of his work. When he launched a career as a songwriter and singer in the '60s, only Bob Dylan could match his visionary...


September
Saturday
20

Lee Fields and The Expressions

KDHX welcomes Lee Fields and The Expressions to 2720 Cherokee on Saturday, September 20 at 8pm.   Tickets on sale now at www.ticketweb.com.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 14679 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook