Luke's Review of Bernie

  • 24 months ago via Flixster

    Bernie (2012)

    Bernie is the tale of the nicest man in the world, Bernie Tiede. He's good at his job, as an assistant funeral director, and he gets on well with most of the community that he lives in. One day Bernie Tiede tries to make friends with recently widowed Marjorie Nugent. Bernie takes pity on her as the rest of the community seem to have a distinct dislike of her. However, she soon becomes very possessive of Bernie and there's only so far you can push someone. Bernie is a wonderful dark comedy that looks at social conventions and how sometimes no matter what, peoples perceptions are never changed. The whole point of the film does strongly suggest that we should be nice, but also know when to step away from something that is unhealthy for us. Jack Black gives a fantastic performance, possibly his best, as the sweet natured man that just can't say no. MacLaine alsoi brings a lot to her role. She isn't just cold and heartless, she has just been very lonely for a very long time. This means it is hard for her to maintain relationships. McConaughey is also on form as Danny Buck, the enthusiastic DA of the small town. He really comes into his own in the last act when he is simply confused by everyone's reaction to the case. It has the humour but is also very heartfelt, and also works as a social commentary. The absurdity of the townspeople is quite understandable, but it is also pointed out how they accepted money from Bernie. Linklater does well to frame the film as an almost documentary. Real life townspeople play themselves and talk to the camera about their experiences, and it is amazing that after all this time they are still behind Bernie. This is a wonderful look at human nature, and questions if being nice is all it takes to be excused from unspeakable crimes.

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