Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
Jack Black stars as Bernie, a camp, popular, generous and all round ‘nice guy’ funeral director in a small town who befriends a newly widowed 81 year old millionairess, Mrs Nugent (Shirley Maclaine)… A millionairess who is very unpopular due to her mean spirited ways. As time goes on their friendship blossoms and she warms to Bernie and ends up putting him into her will. Two years down the line and Bernie is pretty much a servant to this lady. The friendship has gone sour and Mrs Nugent is very mean to Bernie – to the point where he snaps and kills her. He then proceeds to carry on as normal and hide the fact he killed her. For 9 months. And the astonishing thing is this is based on a true story.
Richard Linklater’s darkly comic film is a joy to watch. Jack Black has never been better, you really sympathise with Bernie, while at the same time you’re constantly wondering how the hell he thought the charade would work. Maclaine is brilliantly bitchy as Mrs Nugent and there’s nice support from Matthew McConaughey as a hick district attorney. The rest of the supporting cast as the locals recalling the events are excellent too and provide many of the laughs. Not exactly a feel good film but it is riveting, very funny and grips you the whole way.