Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Critics Consensus

Where'd You Go, Bernadette offers dispiriting proof that a talented director, bestselling source material, and terrific cast can add up to far less than the sum of their parts.

47%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 127

76%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 710
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Movie Info

Based on the runaway bestseller, Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an inspiring comedy about Bernadette Fox (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett), a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette's leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.

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Critic Reviews for Where'd You Go, Bernadette

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (36)

  • The script is an insult to the principle of adaptation: All that is good in the plot has been excised in favor of the shortest route to a happy ending.

    Aug 20, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette feels like it could have been a great film; the final result is not that, but it's at least a distinctive mess.

    Aug 19, 2019 | Full Review…
  • [Linklater] can't find a suitable form for Maria Semple's patchwork best seller...

    Aug 16, 2019 | Full Review…
  • As troublesome and overstuffed as Blanchett's performance might be, it's also one of the few interesting things going on in this troublesome and overstuffed misfire of a book adaptation.

    Aug 16, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

    Oliver Jones

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Notably, this is the first Linklater movie to feature a solo female lead, and Bernadette instantly emerges as one of the most vibrant and complex characters in the director's filmography.

    Aug 16, 2019 | Full Review…

    Justin Chang

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • Linklater can't seem to strike the right tone for Bernadette's story.

    Aug 16, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  • 4d ago
    Thematically its a mess, but there are some fantastic scenes. Ultimately Blanchett saves this movie, giving one of her best performances here.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • 5d ago
    I have no idea who Where Did You Go, Bernadette? is for. It's based upon a best-selling book, directed and adapted by Richard Linklater (Boyhood), and starring great actors, chief among them Cate Blanchett in the title role. After a half hour, I kept wondering why I wasn't engaged with what was happening, why everything felt so directionless, and I'm still looking for answers. I felt like the movie was gaslighting me because so many characters devote so much time to preach that Bernadette is the worst. She's no rabble-rousing outsider setting fire to the world; she's just a quirky out-of-work architect with some undiagnosed mental illness. Yet the other people want to convince me that she's anti-social, that she's mean, that she's ruinous, and I just never saw much evidence on screen. This is symptomatic of the movie's problem of characters talking in declarative statements, telling the audience things we need to know, but rarely do we see these events. It felt like I was watching a movie where everyone else had seen some prequel and was relying on that information, leaving me out of the loop to catch up. It felt like I was being talked at. The movie feels like it's lacking a spark and a workable tone. It feels like it's presenting quirk but without whimsy, so things are recognized as offbeat and just left there alone. Thank God for Blanchett, who delivers a sturdy and great performance as a woman losing her sense of self and trying to follow her passions. She's funny, defiant, vulnerable, and has the dramatic potential to be even more involving. An extended third act in Antarctica feels like the movie is just biding its time for a reunion, something that already feels low stakes given that everyone is on the same page and would eventually find one another. The pacing of the movie and its slipshod structure contribute to its sluggish sense of direction and a whopping 130 minutes. Where Did You Go, Bernadette? wants us to believe that Bernadette is self-absorbed, or everyone else is self-absorbed, or that passions are worth chasing even to the opposite ends of the Earth. I don't know. It's a mildly amusing comedy with some dramatic moments but I wouldn't be surprised if this quickly vanishes from theaters and few if any will be asking where exactly it went. Nate's Grade: C
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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