Thursday, January 3, 2013


By D.E.Levine

Taken from a true story, Bernie tells the story of a "nice guy" who's so nice that not even committing a murder changes public opinion about him.

Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is a devout mortician who befriends Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), the crabbiest and most disliked old lady in Carthage, Texas.

Eventually moving in with Nugent and enjoying the good life that the multimillionairess could provide, in 1997, the then 40-year old Bernie was arrested for Nugent's murder

Shown through the eyes of the residents of Carthage, in interview type vignettes, no one can believe that mild-mannered, charming Bernie could have committed the murder.

Immaculately dressed and groomed at all times, with a mincing walk and an endlessly solicitous manner, Bernie travels the world with Marjorie and eventually she writes her grown children out of her will and makes Bernie the sole beneficiary.

Bernie, having murdered Majorie, conceals her remains and for nine months covers up her absence.  Always reclusive and difficult, people don't think it's strange to deal with Bernie instead of Marjorie.  However, when her remains are finally discovered, Bernie is prosecuted by D.A. Danny Buck Davidson (Matthew MacConaughey).

Directed by Richard Linklater, this semi comic portrayal of Bernie takes Jack Black away from his normally completely comic performances and gives significant depth and feeling to the character.