Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)


Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Richard Linklater, for me is a solid filmmaker. I think the Before Trilogy is masterful and damn near perfect and while his other work doesn’t resonate as well for me he’s had some great films. I didn’t know a whole lot about this film, other than it being based on a book I’ve never read and it looking like quite a stylish film though a very curious one. After watching, I’m sort of on the fence of whether I liked it or not. The needle is right in the center.

The film is about a former architect named Bernadette Fox and her life. She hates people, has rows with her neighbor, and is having issues with her husband and her own mental health. Things come to a head where her life becomes so disorganized that an intervention is called to help her get better. Before you know it Bernadette disappears and her family must track her and get her back. Its hard to summarize the plot of this film because this isn’t really an event that takes center stage in this film.

I feel like this film was just so uneven. On one hand you have a very good performance by the always amazing, Cate Blanchett. I love the interactions with her and Kristen Wig’s character. The writing and humor is sharp and witty at times but like Bernadette, it disappears as the film trails along. I can’t really put a finger on what makes this book special because the film makes me wonder why we really have to care for it.

I feel like a lot of this was a swing and a miss for Linklater who is always trying to challenge himself. There are things to appreciate, like the musical score and performances but not a whole lot else in this rather uneventful and non memorable film. Luckily for me this was a first film in a  double feature, with the latter feature really making up for my time at the cinema.


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