Bernie (12A)

Film

Comedy

Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black in <em>Bernie</em>

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Apr 23 2013

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.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Apr 26, 2013

Duration:

99 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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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.'