London Film Festival press previews kicked off with Richard Linklater’s dark comedy ‘Bernie’ starring Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey.
Bernie is based on the true story of Bernie Tiede an eccentric mortician in Carthage, Texas on trial for murder. The film opens with a comedic presentation of Bernie (Jack Black) ‘cosmetising’ a corpse…this is no ordinary real-life story turned film. This is one taken under the wing of Richard Linklater and transformed into a black-comedy mocumentary. Bernie is a popular man he makes friends easily but is this popularity enough for him to “get away with murder”.
[quote_right] “a surprisingly cute movie which despite the insults, death and murder throughout the film…really lifts the spirits.” [/quote_right]
Jack Black’s more recent films have felt like he’d rented out part of his soul to the commercial devil. Gulliver’s Travels and Kung Fu Panda aimed squarely at the box office have a noticably different audience to the types of films he made a name making. His portrayal of Bernie has great moments of physical comedy both outrageous and subtle. His portrayal really gives us an insight into the psyche of a person who commits and confesses to a murder.
The bitter angry Sherriff, played by Matthew McConaughey sticks to his metaphorical guns against the entire towns pleas. McConaughey’s subtle embodiment of a militant and disliked small town Sherriff is another casting against type that has paid off. Add to that a brilliant, very amusing cast, a witty if sometimes obscene script and some simple but endearing illustrations and you have yourself a surprisingly cute movie which despite the insults, death and murder throughout the film…really lifts the spirits.