Bernie
2011
***½
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux, Rick Dial, Brandon Smith

In the 1990s Bernie Tiede was an assistant mortician in a small town of Carthage in Texas. He was known as a kind and caring man who got along with everyone. When his unorthodox friendship with a wealthy but misanthropic widow ended as a murder case, the townsfolk refused to believe the facts. Richard Linklater transforms this unusual true life story into a dark comedy. The script by Linklater and Skip Hollandsworth is based on the latter one’s article Midnight in the Garden of East Texas in the Texas Monthly magazine. The film is enjoyable, although its mix of dramatisation and mock plus real interviews doesn’t always flow well. Jack Black is uncharacteristically toned down in the title role, and the performance is heartbreaking.