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USA 2019 - with Cate Blanchett, Billy Cudrup, Kristin Wiig, Emma Nelson ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Genre:Comedy, Drama
Direction:Richard Linklater
Cinema release:21.11.2019
Production country:USA 2019
Running time:Approx. 109 min.
Rated:Ages 6+

Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) was once a celebrated star architect who caused a real stir in the male-dominated world. But she has since completely withdrawn from the public eye and moved from LA to Seattle with her husband Elgie (Billy Crudup), a successful IT manager. Here, the couple lives with their 15-year-old daughter Bee (Emma Nelson) in a mansion in need of renovation, the condition of which is a particular thorn in the side of their finicky neighbor Audrey (Kristen Wiig). When she insists that Bernadette remove the rampant blackberry bushes from her property, it sets off a chain of events that may even land Bernadette in a mental institution. But she decides to take a completely different path - and suddenly Bernadette is gone.

With Bernadette, director Richard Linklater has staged an entertaining comedy-drama that scores with a mix of delightfully quirky moments, touching scenes and great visuals. All of this is carried by a wonderful Cate Blanchett, who is just great as a somewhat quirky woman who is easily annoyed by those around her and also seems to be overwhelmed with the small tasks of everyday life. It's also Blanchett who saves the film over some somewhat plodding moments. Thankfully, these are so few and far between anyway that they don't really stand out in a negative way.

Based on the novel Where Are You, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, Linklater has managed to make a film that is incredibly funny without seeming too over the top. Even though Bernadette is basically a very overdrawn character, she somehow feels real. Similarly, the story seems to go a little off the rails at one point, only to reveal that it's long since back on track with destination driving to a really nice ending. In the end, a little of the bite that makes the humor so wonderful, especially in the first half of the film, is lost. But even though the last act is less about straining the laugh muscles and instead more about aiming for the heart, the whole thing works really well.

In brief clips from a documentary about the architect's earlier work, we learn more about the past throughout the story that made Bernadette the woman the audience meets at the beginning of the film. With the knowledge of what was, one also understands the significance of the journey that this character undertakes much better. This is what makes the storytelling so appealing: the audience's view of the main character changes precisely not only because of what she does in the actual story, but also because of what you are served in little morsels about her past. The result is great cinema entertainment for the heart, for the head and especially for the mind. A film that is fun to watch, but also thought-provoking in a way. Great acting, wonderfully filmed and engagingly directed - for that, definitely a: Absolutely worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "Bernadette (USA 2019)"
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