Where’d You Go, Bernadette? review by Bobby Blakey
Director Richard Linklater is one of those filmmakers that constantly delivers interesting projects including films like BoyHood, A Scanner Darkly and so many more. His latest film, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? features a great cast including Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, and Laurence Fishburne, but is it another film that stands out or will it be too afraid to step out of confinement?
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? follows Bernadette Fox, a loving wife and mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery. I knew very little outside of one trailer about this film so going in had no idea what to expect. I guess with the title and the way the trailer was presenting I expected the whole film to be about searching for Bernadette, but this wasn’t the case after all.
The story primarily focus on Bernadette herself and her varying issues with family, connecting with people and her own mental issues dealing with the outside world. IT all circles back to her stifled creative freedom and in turn sends her life in a constant downward spiral. While it sounds heavy and does have moments of weight, it plays up more as a strange and quirky film with heart and laughs. It’s one of those films that is for sure engaging as you watch all these characters deal with one another, but at the same time one that might put some people off due to a lot of the characters not being overly likeable.
There are elements that focus on how others deal with mental illness without always knowing or caring what they are dealing with which is a big issue today. The house she lives in is a character all its own with it being a major part of early moments in the film. Everyone here gives a great performance, but the film is so out there at times it might not resonate with some people. I found it to be one of the more straight forward films from Linklater and enjoyed it, but not what I was expecting in good way.