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:: Bernie

Let’s be honest Jack Black has turned out some real turds over the years but his new film Bernie certainly isn’t one of them. In fact that this could well be the best film that Black has ever had released.

Black plays Bernie Tiede a God-fearing, well-loved funeral director that the entire township of Carthage, Texas is in awe of. There simply isn’t one person in the town who would ever say anything bad about Bernie. Then Bernie officiates at the funeral of Marjorie Nugent’s (Shirley MacLaine) husband and being his usual self decides to help out Marjorie in the weeks after the funeral. The two form a strong friendship, much to the surprise of the town’s people who consider Marjorie one of the biggest bitches to ever grace the planet. And while it would be criminal to give away what happens next, let’s just say that soon District Attorney Danny Buck (Matthew McConaughey) is soon involved.

You have to hand it to screenwriter/director, Richard Linklater with Bernie he has delivered one of the finest comedies to ever come out of America. Linklater makes the brave decision of using grabs from real residents of Carthage who knew both Bernie and Marjorie and whether or not their responses were scripted may never be known but they are some of the funniest answers you have ever heard… Texan humour at its absolute best.

The saddest thing about Bernie is that any synopsis you read or trailer you watch gives away the films big twist, something you would think that really annoyed Linklater seeing his script so carefully sets up what happens that it comes as a complete surprise for the audience. So if you’re planning on going and seeing Bernie it is recommended that you be very careful what you read.

Linklater is also blessed with an extremely talented cast. Jack Black absolutely shines as Bernie, and delivers one of the best character-driven performances that you are ever likely to see. He is well supported by Shirley MacLaine who as usual is terrific, but even she is overshadowed by Matthew McConaughey who is brilliant as Danny Buck… and once again we are reminded that when given the right script McConaughey can really deliver.

Bernie is the kind of film that has the potential to have you laughing until you cry. A brilliant comedy.