renart: Alain Delon, acting adorable (Default)
dev ([personal profile] renart) wrote2016-08-11 10:25 am
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Bernie (2011, US)

I gotta admit that I don't really expect all too much out of Jack Black as a serious actor. (Which is maybe an unfair assessment, since he has starred in some genuinely good movies--and Bernie is one of them!--but for the most part his stuff that I've seen seems to range from "actually kind of funny" to "grating" with a few outliers.)

So I was pleased by his stellar, very multifaceted performance in "Bernie". The movie is based on the real life relationship between Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede II and Marjorie Nugent; Bernie Tiede was a mortician in Carthage, TX who was also very popular in the community as someone invested in contributing to local culture and helping citizens. (Well, in addition to his day job providing tasteful funeral services and working with the bereaved.) He gets to know Marjorie due to the death of her husband, and the two instantly bond and are inseparable, with Bernie at Marjorie's beck and call. The film depicts a fictionalized version of their days spent together and Bernie's murder of the wealthy Marjorie due to her supposed emotional abuse and degradation.

(Also notable that Bernie was popular enough locally that his trial actually had a change of venue by the DA to avoid a biased jury sentencing. In addition to the actual narrative following the above developments between the two and the trial, it also features these neat little documentary style snippets of interviews with locals about their thoughts on the situation, which are often hilarious. Some of them are actors but some are actual real townspeople who had opinions on the matter since they lived there.)

Very good movie all around with an interesting format, interesting background, and great performances by the lead actors.

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