Bernie Review
Ryan Revolver
4/25/2012

 

 

Let me start by saying that I am a 4th generation Texan. It’s something that I am proud of. That rebellious spirit that won Texas its independence from the battle of San Jacinto still flows through my veins. When Texas is portrayed at all in film I relish in the fact that I am from here, even if it is in something like Machete (I still fail to see what all the drama was about that, in the end it is just a movie).
 
Jack Black gave an exceptional performance as Bernie. The character is more complex than some of his other roles, and has depth.
 
Richard Linklater’s film follows Bernie, the most caring and loving Assistant Funeral Director in the small town of Carthage in East Texas. Shirley MacLaine plays Marjorie Nugent, the town rich-witch that Bernie befriends. Fancy trips, power of attorney, and other benefits of Nugent’s friendship come with a price for Bernie.
 
This movie is based on an actual event. While I have not read the Texas Monthly article that Skip Hollandsworth wrote about Bernie, I bet this side of the tale will make people laugh more.
 
This is the best leading man role Jack Black has ever played in a movie to date. Matthew McConaughey was engaging as District Attorney Danny “Buck” Davidson. The always- powerful Shirley MacLaine had a peformance just as good in Bernie as she did in Terms Of Endearment and Steel Magnolias. MacLaine is very convincing as a crotchety old timer. Local media personalities were also in this film. KLBJ’s Dale Dudley plays a DJ (I wonder where Dale found his motivation to play a DJ from East Texas), and KVUE’s Quita Culpepper plays a reporter.
 
People who live, or have spent any time, in Texas will get this movie through and through. The joke about how Texas has all these different states within a state was well placed, and the cuts of different townsfolk being interviewed kept the plot and fascination on what was going to happen. In the synopsis we know that Bernie is going to shoot Ms. Nugent, we just don’t know how funny it is going to be.


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