Bernie | Chicago Reader

Bernie

Richard Linklater messes with Texas again, seeking comic inspiration from his home state for the first time since Dazed and Confused (1993). His source material here is a Texas Monthly article about the 1996 murder of a wealthy 81-year-old widow, Marjorie Nugent, by her 39-year-old gay companion, Bernhardt Tiede, in small-town Carthage. The story provides great roles for Jack Black as the sunny title character, Shirley MacLaine as his dyspeptic victim, and Matthew McConaughey as the good-old-boy D.A. who prosecutes the crime. But some of the best performances come from real-life residents of Carthage as they share their recollections on camera. Their testimony contributes to a rich sense of small-town society at its most congenial and corrupt—Bernie, who spends months throwing the dead woman's money around, is so popular with the townspeople that the DA is forced to seek a change of venue.

Credits

Director:

  • Richard Linklater

Cast:

  • Jack Black
  • Shirley MacLaine
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Brady Coleman
  • Richard Robichaux
  • Rick Dial
  • Brandon Smith
  • Larry Dotson
  • Merilee McCommas
  • Matthew Greer
  • Sonny Carl Davis
  • Juli Erickson
  • Gabriel Luna

Producers:

  • Celine Rattray
  • Martin Shafer
  • Liz Glotzer
  • Matt Williams
  • David McFadzean
  • Judd Payne
  • Dete Meserve
  • Ginger Sledge
  • Richard Linklater
  • Don Fox
  • Darby Parker
  • Jack Gilardi Jr.
  • Johnny Lin
  • Ken Hirsh
  • William T. Conway
  • Michael Bassick
  • Duncan Montgomery
  • Jack Selby
  • Alex Gudim

Related Stories

  • The best little murderer in Texas

    The best little murderer in Texas

    With Bernie, Richard Linklater turns to his home state for comic inspiration for the first time since Dazed and Confused
    • May 17, 2012

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