A few weeks ago I had the chance to see Bernie, director Richard Linklater‘s (The School of Rock, Dazed and Confused) latest film starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. It tells the true wacky tale of assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede, a beloved member of Carthage, a small town down in Texas, who strikes up an unusual relationship with one of the town’s most hated residents, an affluent widow named Marjorie Nugent. At first everything seems to be grand between these two but eventually things go very sour when Bernie shoots her in the back (after she ends up pushing his buttons one too many times) and tries to hide her body in a freezer. Eventually he does end up on trial for murder, I won’t give too much away but I can ensure you that hilarity does ensue, as odd as that might sound.
I’m not really a big fan of Mr. Black, yet surprisingly I really thought he was excellent in this movie, and of course there’s the legendary Ms. MacLaine, she’s one of my all-time favorites. The film is quite outlandish but the fact it’s actually based on a true story makes it all the more odd, I found it to be a truly fascinating tale. So if you can’t bear waiting in line this weekend for The Avengers, consider catching Bernie, this dark comedy almost has to be seen to be believed!
In the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the town’s most beloved residents. He taught Sunday school, sang in the church choir and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent, an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Bernie frequently traveled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands. Bernie continued to handle her affairs, and the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie. The people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.