2.26.2013

Bernie

We managed to squeeze some time in this weekend to watch Bernie.This is a true story based on an article about an actual murder committed by a real-life Bernie who was a funeral director in the small Texas town of Carthage. I had never heard of the movie or the crime aside from a brief review in EW, but I threw it on the queue as I am prone to do if something piques my interest.
This movie is quite unique in the sense that it has well-known actors portraying the lead roles while most of the supporting roles are "played" by actual townspeople. I guess you could call it a mockumentary. Since true-crime television is a favorite of mine, I gave Bernie a chance and I was not disappointed in the least. The people giving commentary about the events that occurred were charming and oftentimes hilarious.
The story is that Bernie was quite beloved for being a genuinely nice man. Marjorie (MacLaine) was a wicked old widow who met Bernie at her husband's funeral. The two had an intense relationship until one day he snapped and killed her. However, he didn't report her death and went on basically being a charitable beneficiary of Marjorie's fortune and spread her wealth to the people of the Texas town while continuing to lead a very modest lifestyle for himself. When he is being prosecuted for her murder by McConaughey's uncharacteristically unattractive and unlikable district attorney, most of the townsfolk don't really want Bernie to be punished. It's quite a story and frankly seems both too strange to be true and too strange to be made up. I recommend this movie if you are up for something "new." Bernie was definitely unlike anything I've seen in a long time. Heck, it's worth the rental just to listen to Jack Black sing throughout most of it!

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