BERNIE (Los Angeles Film Festival, Los Angeles California 2011 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Stars ìììì

Bernie—comedy with a black twist—bases itself on the true story of Bernie Tiede, a mortician, who murders a wealthy town resident whom he has befriended. Actor Matthew McConaughey outstandingly portrays the character Danny Buck.

Storyline

A mortician named Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) prides himself in preparing corpses for proper burial. After Mrs. Marjorie Nugent’s (Shirley MacLaine) wealthy husband dies, Bernie Tiede befriends her by showering her with flowers, chocolates, and regular visits. She develops an abnormal, possessive, controlling attitude toward Bernie and becomes increasingly demanding of his time and personal life. Before long Bernie finds himself in the position of Mrs. Nugent’s constant companion. As Bernie descends into the assumption of servile attendant to Mrs. Nugent’s every whim, he becomes increasingly frustrated. The unhealthy relationship proceeds to its final climax when Bernie murders Mrs. Nugent and hides her body in her freezer. The rest of the film explores Bernie’s extravagant scattering of her wealth to needy town residents before he is finally accused, tried, and convicted of murder. The unexpected twist in the story is the community response to Bernie’s trial.

Additional Thanks

Great Work for Director Richard Linklater. Thank you to Executive Producers Michael Bassick, William T. Conway, John Paul DeJoria, Donald Fox, Alex Gudim, Lissa Gudim, Ken Hirsch, Johnny Lin, Duncan Montgomery, Darby Parker, Jack Selby, John Sloss, and Jack Gilardi, Jr. Additional characters/cast include: Scrappy Holmes (Brady Coleman), Lloyd Hornbuckle, (Richard Robichaux), Don Leggett (Rick Dial), Sheriff Huckabee (Brandon Smith), Reverend Woodard (Larry Jack Dotson), Molly (Merrilee McCommas), Carl (Mathew Greer), Townsperson (Marjorie Dome), Townsperson (Tim Cariker) Townsperson (Fern Luker), Townsperson (Jack Payne), Townsperson (Sonny Carl Davis), Townsperson (Chris Humphrey), and Townsperson (Ann Reeves).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film presents an interesting study on non-premeditated murder.

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Ben Meyers

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