A story so unbelievable it must be true.
In this true story in the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the town's most beloved residents. He taught Sunday school, sang in the church choir and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent, an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Bernie frequently traveled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands. Bernie continued to handle her affairs, and the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie. The people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.
"Grief should not tragically become a comedy"
I want to nominate Jack Black for "One of the Most Punchable Faces in the Universe." He only narrowly wins over Jared Leto.
But despite his chubby mug, he actually churns out a great performance in this movie. In fact, Bernie is Jack Black's most accomplished work. Hell, he is fan-freaking-tastic here. I don't care about his fat face. Bernie is to Jack Black what Punch-Drunk Love was to Adam Sandler.
This film is a little less accomplished, but is still an underrated gem from the great Richard Linklater. Here he touts his versatility in creating one of the finest dark comedies of recent memory. Jack Black like I said, plays his character…
In a small town, people will always suspect the worst of someone. But they'll also suspect the best.
I've seen a few films from the self-taught writer/director Richard Linklater and I have to say I still would not be able to identify a piece of his work without already knowing he directed it. His films range in style drastically. You only need to compare Bernie to his other comedy with Jack Black, School of Rock, to find two of his films that seem to be made by different directors.
Bernie is endlessly fascinating. It's based on the true story of a funeral home aficionado named Bernie befriending a caustic old woman named Marjorie in the small East Texas town of Carthage. Marjorie has lots of money, and when she takes a liking to Bernie, they go on lavish vacations together. People in Carthage gossiped about the nature of their relationship, but were firm supporters and admirers of Bernie's. They also hated Marjorie's guts. When Bernie kills Marjorie, he tries to hide it from the town by saying she's been in the hospital for a series of small strokes.
My favorite part of the film is the individual interviews with residents of the town.…
There needs to be a Bernie/ Killer Joe crossover.
A very pleasant surprise. The film certainly has its faults, but I did not think that Jack Black, nor the tone, were among them.
I'm a pretty big supporter of Richard Linklater. Sure, he gets the benefit of having directed one of my favorite movies, but he's also a guy who has taken some serious chances. After 10 years of making low key independent films, instead of taking the obvious path to making dead-eyed Hollywood rom-coms, he throws himself into an experimental, talk-heavy animated feature that explores themes of existentialism.
Those are some impressive cajones.
He then fools a studio into letting him helm a kid's comedy from the writer of Chuck and Buck, in which he successfully harnesses Jack Black's manic energy to create one of the best family films of the aughts and one of the best rock & roll films of the…
Bernie really surprised me. My uncle recommended it to me and I'm glad he did, I'll call this Jack Black's best performance, he's absolutely fantastic here. Sympathetic, convincing, funny and somehow effortlessly camp.
Shirley MacLaine also without even having that many lines, gives a great performance, she speaks heavily with her body language and it really adds a whole other layer of realism to the film. The rest of the supporting cast is excellent also, Matthew McConaughey is a such an easily unlikable character, he's great. The talking head interviews are a great touch, and even more startling after realising the majority of them were real people from Carthage.
Bernie is such a likable character, I felt like crying here.…
Bernie < Bridget Jones Diaries
Bernie > The Ham What Am
Bernie > The Hiding Place
Bernie > Capote
Bernie < Cash on Demand
Bernie > Thirteen
Bernie > Black Death
Bernie > Lord of the Flies
Bernie < Shrek
Bernie > Nightmare Alley
Bernie > Mickey One
Final 1782 out of 3340
Strange. Just couldn't get into it.
Bernie could best be described as the Fargo of Texas. It is a unique faux-documentary black comedy. Just as my relatives up north could easily relate to the characters in Fargo, I fell in love with the characters in Bernie. I felt connections with the characters instantly as I know people with similar senses of humor and speech. The documentary bits mix in seamlessly with the rest of the film, and give off a great local vibe. Like I said the characters are all great thanks to the performances by Matthew McConaughey and of course Jack Black in a wonderfully muted performance that proves he is far from one note. I would recommend Bernie to anyone with a Coen brothers sense of humor and especially to any Texan interested.
+ I liked the character and all the ways he helped in his community must be over the top because it almost seems impossible
+ Nice style of using people who knew the real story with the actors
+ When it showed the real Bernie at the end it suddenly got a whole lot darker
Really nice indie film
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Verdict: fine to watch but not worth going out of your way.
A decent addition to the overly saturated "mocku-mentary" genre.
The cool twist is that this is all based on actual events. (so, does that make this a docu-mocku-mentary?)
This darkly comic film, based on a true story, from versatile director Richard Linklater features a career-best performance from Jack Black. Comedians are often at their best when they step out of their comfort zones (Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love springs to mind), and Black shows that here, playing the titular character, a kind and generous local man who befriends Shirley MacClaine's cantankerous widow. Black is great, playing the role with affection but also with an effeminate, slightly creepy edge to his performance, while MacClaine plays the perfect bitch, just an absolute chore of a woman who is impossible to like, while Matthew McConoughey continues his career resurgence (see also Killer Joe). Linklater shoots the film in a quasi-documentary style, with talking-head interview footage over the narrative. Bernie is a good film indeed, funny, touching, dark. Well worth your time.
Taking place in the charming east Texas town of Carthage (using actual Carthage townsfolk to blur the line between fantasy and reality), Richard Linklater's dark comedy about a community hero being pushed too far by an overly-dependent and mean old woman he befriended is an original, relentlessly-entertaining film. Linklater's direction is perfect for the film, flawlessly capturing the simple town of Carthage and it's citizens, and the quasi-documentary feel of it only makes it more engaging. Jack Black turns in a performance unlike any he's given before, leaving one to wonder why he doesn't take on roles like this more often, and the ensemble couldn't have fit the film better. My biggest gripe with the film is the frequency of the talking heads which, while they're usually pretty delightful, occasionally threatened to break the film's flow. All in all, the movie is completely irresistible.