By: Movie Snurb (Three Beers) –
Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) used to be an acclaimed architect and married Elgie (Billy Crudup), an up and coming tech genius. After they have their daughter Bee, Bernadette stops designing and building anything, becoming a recluse inside their old mansion in Seattle while Elgie becomes so enthralled at his job that him and Bernadette slowly begin to drift apart. Bernadette and Bee become quite close, however. Bernadette begins to become increasingly strange to the outside world, but really, she just needs to get back to what she loves doing. So, when they promised to take Bee on a trip to Antarctica, and it comes out that Bernadette has become a target of an online scam that she gave all of their information too, Bernadette decides to run to Antarctica to get away. There she discovers a team of research scientists who need a new research center and they are looking for someone to design it.
The best thing by a mile about this film are the performances, Kristen Wiig and Billy Crudup are great in the minor roles. Honestly, we could’ve used more of both. However, the real stand out to no surprise is Cate Blanchett. Cate is such a brilliant actress and she brings a level of honesty and vulnerability that brings Bernadette to life as if she was a real person. I’m always amazed at Cate’s range, and if there’s anything that will be remembered about this film it will be Cate’s amazing performance.
I love Richard Linklater and his films, but this is the first one I didn’t care for. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it; it’s in a state of meh. I don’t think Linklater is at fault. This script was a mess and it felt all over the place. In the beginning I was confused as if I should’ve read the book before I watched the film, which is the opposite of what an adaptation of a book should do. Then later all of the explanations felt shoehorned in as if they screened it then realized no one understood what was happening, so they went back with rewrites and jammed in the explanations as to why Bernadette is depressed, who her “assistant is”, and why they live in a decrepit mansion when Elgie makes a ton of money. Who Bernadette is in general. I don’t know what we should’ve expected with a film that kept being pushed back and delayed. Those are never good signs.
On the subject of the script, the third act of this film enters cheeseville at full bore. The ending felt inevitable due to the 1st and 2nd act setting up this cheesy ending. It’s very predictable, and you’ll be able to see this ending coming a mile away.
I’m pretty sure Tarantino didn’t direct this, maybe he consulted.
Not all Linklater films are going to be heavyweights like The Before Trilogy or Boyhood, but he has a lot of fun ones like; School of Rock, Bernie, or Everybody Wants Some!! Or classics like Dazed and Confused. But this one, while not awful, is not a good one and will just be forgotten. At least we got another great Cate Blanchett performance.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Bernadette does something rude to her neighbor.
Do a Shot: for every email she sends.
Take a Drink: for every mention of Antarctica.
Take a Drink: every time some one says Bernadette.