My Filmviews

- What are yours?

Bernie (2011)

I originally wasn’t planning to watch Bernie. Not because I don’t like Jack Black as I think he’s usually pretty entertaining, but the movie just didn’t seem that appealing. I normally don’t watch trailers, but watching part of one made me decide I’d skip this one. That’s until I saw a lot of positive reviews coming into my mailbox. It seemed I had dismissed a movie I shouldn’t have, so I was set on “righting” that wrong and decided to check it out.

Bernie is not your average movie and going in I didn’t know much about it (I only looked at the scores of those reviews I received). I didn’t know it was based on a real story and also didn’t know that the form in which the story was told was refreshing. I’m a big fan of documentaries and this movie actually feels like one. It feels like a reenactment, like the ones you see on something like “I shouldn’t be alive” or “Locked up abroad”. The movie follows a storyline, but is interspersed with interviews with real people talking fondly about Bernie. I won’t be talking about what exactly happens, but suffice to say I kind of felt like those people in the town being surprised by it.

If you are dreading watching this because you are not a fan of Jack Black’s “loud” persona then you will be pleasantly surprised to know that he’s very dialled back in this, playing his role straight. He’s not responsible for most of the laughs, that honor goes to the townspeople. I was expecting Matthew McConaughey to have a bigger part of the movie, but felt that his part felt underdeveloped and wished it had been more fleshed out. This movie manages to make you feel sympathy for the real Bernie, although I’m not sure that you should have.

Score: 8

Category: Comedy, Drama, Movies
  • dirtywithclass says:

    I LOVED this film. Manages to be so complex without really trying to. Also, Black was amazing i think

    September 13, 2012 at 5:58 am
    • Nostra says:

      You are not the only one who thinks so :)

      September 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm
  • Chris says:

    I watched it because I admire Linklater as a director, although what stayed with me was Jack Black, excellent performance. Was quite shocking that it was based on a real life story!

    September 13, 2012 at 9:23 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, it was shocking as I didn’t know that either. Linklater is a very interesting director.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm
  • Scott Lawlor (@FrontRoomCinema) says:

    I really, really liked this film.

    Probably a similar score to you if I reviewed it…. Nice to see a little less Jack Black style

    September 13, 2012 at 11:57 am
    • Nostra says:

      Happy to hear Scott!

      September 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm
  • Mark Walker says:

    Great little film Nostra. I’m not overly keen on Black but I liked him here. Totally agree about McConaughey. He was great but underused.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm
    • Nostra says:

      It should have gotten a bit more marketing I guess, because I never heard of it before.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm
      • Mark Walker says:

        More marketing would have went down a treat for sure. I would have bypassed it had it not been for Linklater’s involvement. I’m a big fan of his.

        September 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm
  • ckckred says:

    I’ve been trying to watch this one for a while. Nice review.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Hope you’ll be able to check it out soon.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  • keith7198 says:

    Glad you checked it out. I quite liked this picture.

    September 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm
  • Nostra says:

    Yeah, a nice surprise.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  • ruth says:

    I didn’t find this movie appealing either Nostra, but all these positive reviews got me intrigued now. I’ll rent it when it’s available.

    September 14, 2012 at 3:30 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, it’s worth checking out and I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

      September 18, 2012 at 9:08 am
  • AndyWatchesMovies says:

    I like that the film makes you want to like Bernie even though you know you shouldn’t. It makes the people of Carthage seem like they aren’t totally crazy, even though they kind of are.

    September 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Exactly the feeling I also had Andy :)

      September 18, 2012 at 9:08 am
  • Raghav says:

    Same as you, heard good reviews so will check it out eventually

    September 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm
    • Nostra says:

      And I’m sure I’ll see a review of it Raghav ;)

      September 18, 2012 at 9:08 am
  • fernandorafael says:

    Nice review, Nostra! I’ve gotten thousands of recommendations, so I’ll try to check this one out soon.

    September 16, 2012 at 2:10 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Fernando, you should!

      September 18, 2012 at 9:09 am
  • CinemaFunk says:

    I’m glad that Linklater is done with the rotoscope films. Bernie is such a delight.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:31 am
    • Nostra says:

      Although the look of those rotoscope films was very unique I will have to agree with you that I prefer this to those movies.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm
  • Dave says:

    Completely agree here, Nostra. I was so surprised by this film and was utterly enchanted by it from beginning to end. This one came out of nowhere!

    Great review — very well said!

    October 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks a lot Dave, I think we agree that this movie surprised everyone.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:18 am

Your email address will not be published.