Pros: the film was shot well; moments where Antarctica is shown Cons: lengthy timing; uninteresting presentation of the main character; platitudes “Where have you gone, Bernadette?” / Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Genre comedy, drama
Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring: Cate Blanchett (Bernadette Fox), Billy Crudup (Algee Branch), Emma Nelson (Bea Branch), Kristen Wiig (Audrey), Judy Greer (Dr. Kurtz), James Urbaniak (Marcus Strang), Troian Bellisario (Becky), etc. .
Annapurna Pictures, Color Force
Year of release 2019
The entire movie revolves around the main character named Bernadette Fox. She lives in Seattle, which disgusts her in absolutely every way. The heroine also hates it when neighbors talk to her, avoids public places in every possible way and tries not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary. The only people Bernadette favors are her smart daughter and her husband, who is passionate about working at Microsoft. Bernadette also has an assistant to whom she complains about her life via email. One day, Fox has another reason to complain – her family begins to plan a joint trip to Antarctica. For Bernadette, this is not at all the anticipation of contemplating breathtaking views, but the prospect of being among strangers who are unpleasant to her.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by American writer Maria Semple. Her work made it onto The New York Times bestseller list, so it makes sense that sooner or later it would have to be brought to the big screen. However, not everything that seems like an entertaining story in print can become a successful movie.
The book “Where Have You Gone, Bernadette?” partly written in the epistolary genre – it contains correspondence between Bernadette and her assistant from India, as well as a description of what is happening on behalf of the daughter of the main character. For some reason they decided to transfer a large number of unnecessary details that fill the letters into the film, significantly delaying its running time.
The film was written and directed by Richard Linklater. His more or less successful films “The School of Rock” and “Tape” were released in the early 2000s; Linklater’s other works were not particularly popular. Judging by the result of the film adaptation of the novel “Where Have You Gone, Bernadette?”, the director remains in the same position – he continues to make films without putting anything into them that can hook the viewer. And this despite the fact that it stars Cate Blanchett.
It would seem that the Oscar-winning actress got a multi-faceted character with a complex character and an obvious crisis – what more is needed? In addition, Cate Blanchett also received an uninteresting script that simply does not allow her to reveal her talent. For the first hour of the film, Bernadette seems to be just an obnoxious person who hates everyone around her. And only some time later the director bothers to tell that the heroine is actually a brilliant architect who abandoned her career for the sake of her family. This, by the way, is not the climax at all. It’s just that, for some unknown reason, the viewer is led to it for an eternity. And all this time, looking at Bernadette performed by Blanchett, it is difficult to feel much sympathy for the heroine, no matter how much you want.
The rest of the characters flash on the screen often, but also do not evoke emotions at all. For example, the annoying neighbor played by Kristen Wiig becomes a cliched image of a housewife who sticks her nose into other people’s business. And Bernadette’s husband, played by Billy Crudup, does not go beyond the character created to make money and escalate the situation. Laurence Fishburne also appears in the film in a rather minor role, and one can only rejoice at him as an old friend who accidentally wandered into this sleepy film.
A reminder that Antarctica should appear in the film helps keep you from leaving the cinema hall. You’ll have to wait (a long time) to see the beautiful scenery, and as a reward for your languor, the cameraman will show you glaciers and penguins.
Perhaps it is a good picture that in some way saves the film from complete failure. Tape “Where Have You Gone, Bernadette?” It was shot well, but not at all intriguing. The director calls the film a comedy-drama, but there are no witty moments. Like the charisma in Bernadette Fox. It’s a pity, because her character is endowed with sarcasm, and this is often used to create the most striking movie characters.
The novel is not adapted in the best way. Even Cate Blanchett couldn’t bring the film to life