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En Carthage, un tranquilo y pequeño pueblo de Texas, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), un enterrador muy querido por todos los vecinos, traba amistad con una adinerada y malvada viuda (Shirley MacLaine) a la cual acabará matando... ¿por accidente?
Una extraordinaria comedia basada en hechos reales, dirigida por el aclamado director de Boyhood y Antes del anochecer, Richard Linklater. Magistralmente interpretada por Jack Black -que consiguió con esta interpretación una merecida nominación a los Globos de Oro- y por los ganadores del Oscar, Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective) y la extraordinaria Shirley MacLaine (La fuerza del cariño, El apartamento).
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The townspeople that are interviewed are priceless.
This is "black comedy" at it's best!
I happened to have the honor of introducing the co-writer of this movie, Skip Hollandsworth, the other day for a ladies group. He and Richard Linklater wrote a great script and made me laugh out loud many times, vowing to remember the funniest lines.
Although this is a true story of a real murder (although not pre-meditated), the writers still were able to make a very humorous film garnering sympathy for the accused, Bernie Tiede.
Bernie is hired as a mortician's assistant in a small town in Texas. He quickly becomes beloved as he volunteers for everything from directing school plays to overseeing the town Christmas decorations. He always calls on deceased family members to offer condolences. Mrs. Nugent (Shirley MacClaine) is recently widowed and is by far the richest woman in town... And the most hated. Several times Bernie brings condolences only to have the door slammed in his face.
Finally, Mrs. Nugent invites him in for tea. Soon, Bernie is not only her best friend, he is her only friend. She has lots of money and within a few months, Mrs. Nugent (Marjorie) has Bernie traveling with her, managing her investments, and he becomes, essentially, her servant/companion. Marjorie disappears.
After several months, Marjorie's stockbroker realizes he has not actually spoken to Mrs. Nugent herself, only to Bernie.
And, since there is big money involved, Marjorie's family start looking for her. Enter Danny Buck ( McConaughey) who is hysterically funny. McConaughey's mother is a riot as a community member who doesn't care whether Bernie did it.
"Danny Buck, if I'm on that jury, I'm voting to acquit!" A movie in the Christopher Guest model of interviewing townspeople, Bernie is a standout. Fall down funny.
Even if you're not a fan of Jack Black, it's hard to fault his delicate performance here as the effeminate funeral director who's the hero of the town, involving himself in every aspect of local events. One of the key plot details is leaked in the trailer and in many reviews but it's still fascinating to see how the town reacts when his relationship with a possessive wealthy senior reaches a surprising climax. The acting is interspersed by interviews from actual Carthage residents who enrich the narrative and provide a distinct portrait of a place few are likely to ever see. This helps understand how these truly bizarre events developed quite logically and frames the story in a way that could really only happen in such a tiny place.
I wasn't initially sure if Bernie was going to be my sort of film but it's extremely well acted and portrays a crime drama against the backdrop of small town life that's funny, touching, strange and unique.
This one is a MUST SEE for everyone. I found it in a video store in Nebraska 2 years ago while working on an oil project. This movie is unbelievable but is a true story. EVERYONE who acted and made a performance of any kind being both the actors and residents of the town of Carthage, Texas need to be both acknowledged and commended for their performance. The storyline used a documentary style to deliver a good part of the dialog which was true genius in my opinion. I must commend Jack Black as I never gave him much credit in the talent department and he completely validated himself to me and deserves an academy award for his performance!