by Zolton in New Film on Thursday 9 August 2012

I actually saw Bernie at a screening in Austin, Texas, which is where the director of the film, Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused; School of Rock), resides. Bernie is a brilliant bittersweet comedy, based on a true story (remarkable though that may seem) and starring the incomparable Jack Black, alongside a strong cast of exceptional character actors, including Shirley MacLaine. [If you’re an Australian-based reader, you can win screening passes and DVDs for Bernie. See here for more details]

The plot is suitably surreal for a real life comedy: ‘In the tiny town of Carthage, Texas, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede is one of the town’s most beloved residents. Bernie befriends Marjorie Nugent, a sour and affluent older widow. Soon Bernie and Marjorie become inseparable and Marjorie becomes very dependent on Bernie, stifling his extroverted personality. Bernie is forced to quit his job and philanthropic activities in the community, leaving him deflated. Then things suddenly get better for Bernie and he seems his old generous self, while Marjorie is mysteriously absent. When Marjorie is discovered to have been dead for months Bernie Tiede is charged with murder, to the great surprise of the local community’.

I enjoyed the film immensely, its inherent quirkiness allowing Black to steal the show with his well-timed delivery and over-the-top physical mannerisms. Bernie opens in Australian cinemas on 16 August 2012.

BERNIE COMPETITION:
Win one of 20 double passes and DVD packs! To enter, be Australian-based, watch the trailer above, and leave a comment below this post telling us who you would take to see the Bernie screening. We’ll award the prizes to our favourite 20 answers. Entries close August 23rd.