Where'd You Go, Bernadette ★★★½

Not everything here works, the big intervention scene is flat and risks knocks the film out of balance, it is too dependent in the precious daughter to explain itself sometimes and some of the non-Blanchett material fails to raise beyond functional, but this is near miraculous as far as contemporary studio film goes both very conventional and offbeat. So full of odd rhythms (as usual Adair editing is great, just the right transitions and cuts all the time) and taken by an unusual mix of absurd Hollywood feel good hokum and Linklater grounded eye for small human behavior (the back and forth between the two is half of the fun). It is a real weird film, an upbeat depression comedy that is probably aimed at nobody besides fans of the book, Blanchett and I guess me, but that is part of what is so likable about it. The cast is very good, Crudup does wonders in a part that wouldn't work in most hands (he has some wonderful reacting shots and is far funnier than the part is on page as well) and turns out Blanchett and Linklater are a great match. I confess her actorly tics and recessive presence often sit bad with me, but she is perfect here, warmer than usual and has such natural knack to shift gears depending on her co-star and how Bernardette relates to them, just a beautiful modulated performance to match a similar film. I hate to be grumpy, but a film culture that lets this go unchampioned really deserve all the crap Indiewire-approved stuff it gets.

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