HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Tour de Force for Jack Black in Fact-Based ‘Bernie’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Jack Black is a smart and interesting actor. Not content to ride on the modern day John Belushi-type roles that might have pigeonholed him, Black portrays “Bernie,” a convincing conniver in Texas, based on a true story. Veterans Matthew McConaughhey and Shirley MacLaine add spice to the brew.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Proving again that truth is stranger than fiction, director Richard Linklater (“Me and Orson Welles,” “Dazed and Confused”) goes back to his native Texas and creates a dark comedy based on the memorable personalities that are involved in this true story of a rich widow and her caretaker named Bernie. Jack Black establishes the Bernie character early, and precisely delivers all of the permutations that makes the circumstance so unbelievable. The story is driven by Black, and he makes the character both sympathetic and clearly off-kilter.

Bernie (Jack Black) is a mortician, looking for a new town in Texas to ply his trade. He lands at the Hawthorne Funeral Home in Cathage, Texas. He becomes one of the town’s favorite sons, meticulous in handling grieving families and especially the rich widows left behind. One of those widows is Majorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), spouse of a deceased weathy oilman. She is unrepentantly unpleasant, and only Bernie can seem to get through to her. Before long, he has quit his other job to solely handle her estate and care.

The relationship between the two is chattel for town gossip, and even in that realm starts to unravel. Nugent’s penchant for arrogance and rudeness begins to wear at Bernie, until finally he shoots her four times in the back with a shotgun. After hiding the body, the case begins to build against him, and the town’s District Attorney, Danny Buck Davidson (Matthew McConaughey) is set to prosecute the murderer. But given Bernie’s reputation as a nice man, and Nugent’s opposite rep in the town, that might not be as easy as it seems.

“Bernie” continues its limited release in Chicago on May 18th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine. Screenplay adapted by Skip Hollandsworth (from his article) and Richard Linklater. Directed by Richard Linklater. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Bernie”

Shirley MacLaine (Marjorie) and Jack Black as the Title Character in ‘Bernie’
Shirley MacLaine (Marjorie) and Jack Black as the Title Character in ‘Bernie’
Photo credit: Millennium Entertainment

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Bernie”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Emmy Awards, Bryan Cranston

    LOS ANGELES – It was one more lap around the victory track for the AMC-TV show ‘Breakling Bad,’ as the gritty drama about a teacher turned meth dealer took home six Primetime Emmy Awards at the 66th ceremony on August 25th. ‘Modern Family’ took home the statue for Outstanding Comedy Series for a a fifth straight year.

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker