Bernie

  • Film
  • Comedy
0 Love It

Texan filmmaker Richard Linklater offers a wry, blackly comic take on his home state with this tongue-in-cheek, often camp spin on a real-life murder case that took place in the late 1990s. Jack Black is cast against type as Bernie, a gentle, possibly gay and much-loved mortician. A pillar of the community, Bernie makes friends with a much-loathed old woman, Marjorie (Shirley MacLaine), but later shoots her dead after she becomes abusive. Linklater wraps the whole thing up as a warm-glowing, smalltown fairytale, with faux-doc, talking-head inserts that give the whole thing a touch of Christopher Guest (‘A Mighty Wind’).

If the crime element feels like little more than a red herring, it’s the characters that give the film its appeal. It’s hard to take Black entirely seriously – especially when the film feels like one big wink – but he offers a masterclass in delivering a veneer of harmless, parochial do-gooding and bonhomie with just a hint of something sinister behind the gentle grins.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday April 26 2013
Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Shirley MacLaine
Matthew McConaughey
Jack Black

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
1 person listening
Preston Kirk

This is a fabulously funny film -- dark humor, of course -- and "idiosyncratic" may be an understatement. Anyone who like "Undertaking Betty" should really enjoy this film. Texas has so many "cultures," but East Texas is a "genre" of humankind that is warm, genuine, and sometimes "out of bounds." I'm speaking from firsthand experience, of course.'

Preston Kirk

This is a fabulously funny film -- dark humor, of course -- and "idiosyncratic" may be an understatement. Anyone who like "Undertaking Betty" should really enjoy this film. Texas has so many "cultures," but East Texas is a "genre" of humankind that is warm, genuine, and sometimes "out of bounds." I'm speaking from firsthand experience, of course.'