Monday, September 17, 2012
Sometimes a horrible crime can open the door for storytelling and movie making, but one does not expect it to be a comedy. One such example is the delightful Bernie (2011) starring Jack Black as the true-life assistant funeral director who was beloved in his small East Texas community, especially by the widows, who gets increasingly sucked into the personal life of an (allegeldy mean-spirited) wealthy widow (played wonderfully by Shirley MacLaine) and in some unexplainable moment shoots her to death. Black brings all of his singing, comedic, and acting skills together to play a really unusual role, that is truly funny without seeming too gross or over-the-top; he is the perfect actor for the role. Matthew McConaughey is also great as the DA determined to make Bernie pay for his crime despite the overall wish of the community to let him go free. Presented in a documentary style with local actors playing gossips, the director (Richard Linklater) seems to capture the essence of East Texas mentality and life.