Bernie

April 27, 2012

Reuniting with his School Of Rock star Jack Black and his Dazed And Confused breakout Matthew McConaughey, director Richard Linklater seems like he’s attempting to bridge the broad comedy of the former movie with the small-town Texas observations of the latter in Bernie—or at least, that’s sort of what it sounds like on paper. The trailer mostly just plays up the wackiness: In an adaptation of a true story, Black stars as a locally beloved, flamboyant mortician who becomes the platonic pal to Shirley MacLaine’s despicable millionaire widow, who treats her loyal companion like a dog until he finally snaps and kills her. That draws the attention of McConaughey’s showboating district attorney as well as the protection of the rest of the close-knit town, who all testify to Black’s inherent goodness—and MacLaine’s inherent latter-day MacLaine-ness—mostly through mockumentary-style talking head interviews. That blend of black humor, Jack Black humor, and Christopher Guest-like character work is definitely a lot to convey in a single preview, so this one doesn’t try all that hard, hitting only the loudest notes along the way to selling it as a movie easily ignored in its inevitable basic-cable run. But it’s got to be better than this looks, right?

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