Where’d You Go, Bernadette – 3 out of 5
I knew nothing about the novel of the same name that Where’d You Go, Bernadette is adapted from. However, that doesn’t say much because I spend most of my reading time with comic book and not with novels. However, when I saw the trailer for this one in the theater, I thought it looked like one of those fun and endearing features about a person finding themselves after they’ve lost what they were. Add in a great cast and it really sold me. Recently, I sat down with it and found a decent but not wholly engrossing film.
|This sure looks nice...from my computer desk in my heated place.|
|Is she looking for a manager to speak to?|
Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) was once a successful and creative architect but eventually gave it all up and disappeared into obscurity in order to raise her daughter Bee (Emma Nelson). Her reclusive nature and somewhat lack of polite interpersonal communication has led those around her, like her neighbor Audrey Griffin (Kristen Wiig), to despise her. Her husband; Elgin Branch (Billy Crudup), is starting to worry about her mental health after she causing severe damage to Audrey’s home, has been hording medications and has, unknowingly, been giving her personal information to an identity theft organization operating out of another country. Facing a breakdown, Bernadette flees to Antarctica in order to find herself while her husband and daughter quickly follow in order to find her.
|"Hey Bee, it's really cold. Maybe your mom will just come home on her own?"|
|Wiig is definitely one of those performers I will go out of my way|
to see whatever she is in.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette has a lot working in its favor and only a couple of small drawbacks. The film is never doing anything egregiously wrong and nothing to make it a feature that was a waste of my time but it did lack the little extra bit of “umph” to make it a feature that was memorable and had a stronger emotional resonance. Overall, development of both its story and characters is a big issue that ultimately made the film feel like an average experience. For the most part, the development is fine but, in the end, it is mostly just serviceable. Characters and the central conflict of Bernadette’s felt like it needed a little bit more for it to really pop and help the overall emotional resonance. The film also has a very definitive pacing issue as the film is either moving too slowly or too quickly and this only further aggravating the issues of fully getting behind and sympathizing with the characters.
|He's letting them know that for everything else there is Mastercard.|
While these issues were noticeable and ultimately kept the film from being something that I wasn’t able to invest into to the extent I was hoping for, that isn’t to say I found the film lacking in its entertainment value. The story is still very good and has a great tone that balances heart, drama and humor. Granted, it wasn’t the most moving and emotional story I’ve seen but it still had heart to it and it was still moving. Finally, the film has a terrific cast. Blanchett does a terrific job of leading the cast as Bernadette and the chemistry she had with Nelson as her daughter and Wiig as her neighbor adversary was very palpable and authentic feeling. Without a doubt, the cast is definitely the feature’s strongest aspect.
|I'll be honest, having James Urbaniak in this film was definitely a reason I checked this out.|
Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a decent feature that had a lot of potential but doesn’t quite achieve it to the level I had hoped it would have. The film isn’t bad, it isn’t boring and it isn’t a chore to sit through. It has a great cast and the story is entertaining enough but it is lacking in development for its story and characters and it does have pacing issues that hold its promise back slightly and ultimately left it as an average, middle-of-the-road experience.