Opening November 21, 2019
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Writing credits: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent, Vincent Palmo, Maria Semple
Principal actors: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne
Based on Maria Semple's 2012 bestseller (she co-wrote the screenplay), director Richard Linklater, who among others gave us the wonderful Before trilogy as well as Boyhood, chose Academy-Award winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Aviator, Carol, Elizabeth, to name just a few of her most successful movies) to play Bernadette Fox in this warm-hearted, but also witty and multi-layered movie. Before moving to Seattle with her IT-genius husband Elgie, played by Billy Crudup (Spotlight, Almost Famous), Bernadette was a successful architect in Los Angeles. She even won a prestigious prize twenty years ago. However, life happened, and after trying hard to become pregnant, she eventually had her daughter Bee, now 15 years old (played by Emma Nelson). Bernadette gave up her career for her family, but deep down she feels that she is missing something in her life. She does not get on with the neighbors, does not act up to the other parent's expectations, in short, she does not really fit in. Compared to her 'perfect' neighbor, Bernadette is chaotic and eccentric, and obviously not well-liked in the community. When an incident involving the neighbor's blackberry bushes occurs, things get to be too much for both Bernadette and her husband, who is considering having Bernadette committed to the 'loony bin'. But then, suddenly, Bernadette disappears.
At the beginning of the movie a trip is planned to go to Antarctica as a family. This was their daughter Bee's wish. And, without giving too much away, we do see Bernadette in a canoe in Antarctica in the opening scene. But how does it end? Do find out, it is a beautiful tale, and yes, it is a feel-good movie. 130 minutes (Ulrike L.)