mordant, weirdly charming, and self-aware; bernie's story is just, drenched in absurdity. the talking heads are the best parts. even if the town is full of wacky, outré characters that we could easily be directed to look down upon, and laugh at rather than with, linklater's careful to treat these (fictional) testimonials with respect; he pokes fun at small-town texan life with obvious love.
Based on an newspaper article; Bernie blends facts and fiction with actual interviews of people who knew him and staged scenes leading up the infamous murder and its aftermath. Jack Black portrays the good hearted killer with such a warm ease that no wonder the town was split on the verdict. A real texas-story from texan filmmaker Linklater! Sadly its not so re-watchable as some of his other movies. 3.5 stars.
Another great achievement from Linklater, this has the feel of a hybrid documentary with all the main parts acted perfectly by Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McCougheney, and the rest being played by the actual people in the town where the events transpired and who knew the characters this film is based on. Nobody does it quite like Linklater these days.
So many different elements of this film were just right up my alley in terms of what I like in movies. I love black comedy, and Jack Black's hilarious portrayal of this overly-lovable funeral home worker(/ murderer) made this one of my favorite performances by him.
At the beginning I was quite curious. The story slowly started to unfold in a narrative tone and I was not sure what exactly to expect: murder-crime?; scary-thriller?; comedy-funny?; odd-strange? After a strong start "Bernie" fell off constantly. I had the feel "Bernie" doesn't know itself. Linklater is to be accused not having utilised the great potential of the story. Jack Black doing very good, his best role ever!
It's better if you see this film without knowing anything about it, like I did. Bernie's politeness and niceness are entertaining at first. Then it becomes interesting when he comes across a bad-tempered absorbing Shirley McClane. And after comes the shocker. I found traces of Linklater's genius on the black-comedy tone, the way he shot the crucial scene, the inclussion of townsfolk declarating and Bernie's ambiguity