Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – A Movie Review

If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted movie that will still leave you thinking, then check out Where’d You Go, Bernadette?. It’s the perfect blend of comedy and drama, with a dash of mystery thrown in.

And be sure to stay until the very end – the twist will have you gasping.

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Overview

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is a 2019 American comedy-drama film directed by Richard Linklater, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Maria Semple. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, and Kristen Wiig. The plot follows Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), an agoraphobic architect and mother, who goes missing prior to a family vacation to Antarctica.

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Blanchett’s performance was praised, but the film was criticized for its pacing and for being too similar to the novel.

Plot

The film starts with Bernadette Fox (played by Cate Blanchett) as she is being interviewed by her daughter Bee (played by Emma Nelson). We learn that Bernadette is agoraphobic and has not left her home in months. She is a world-renowned architect who designed a school in Seattle, which is shown in a montage of old news footage and photographs.

We also see that she is married to Elgie Branch (played by Billy Crudup), a Microsoft employees. They have a teenage daughter, Bee, who goes to private school. Elgie is shown to be very patient with Bernadette, but also somewhat put-upon by her eccentricities.

One day, Bee asks her mother to chaperone her field trip to Antarctica, which Bernadette had once told her about. Bernadette agrees, but then backs out at the last minute, making up an excuse about needing to work on a project. This makes Bee very upset and she runs away from home.

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Elgie and Bernadette search for Bee, but she is nowhere to be found. They eventually find out that she has gone to Antarctica on her own. When they finally catch up to her, they discover that she has been emailing with someone she met online who has been helping her plan her trip.

The movie culminates with the family being reunited and Bernadette finally getting help for her agoraphobia.

Cast

The cast of this film is talented, yet the parts they portray seem one-dimensional. The story could have been told without any of them.

Positives

Released in 2019, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” is a comedy-drama film directed by Richard Linklater and based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Maria Semple. The film stars Cate Blanchett in the lead role of Bernadette Fox, an agoraphobic architect and mother who goes missing prior to a family vacation to Antarctica.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, with many praising Blanchett’s performance but criticizing the film’s pacing and narrative. However, the movie was a box office success, grossing over $35 million against its $20 million budget.

Positives:
-Cate Blanchett’s performance
-Box office success

Negatives

Though the movie does a great job at staying true to the elements that made the book a success, it falls victim in many ways to clichéd dialogue, over-the-top acting, and a predictable plot.

Conclusion

Novel-based films are always a bit of a gamble. Will the key elements that made the book so captivating translate successfully to the screen? In the case of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, the answer is mostly yes.

The film, like the novel, follows Bernadette Fox (played by Cate Blanchett), an eccentric architect who goes missing just before a family trip to Antarctica. Her daughter Bee (Emma Nelson) sets out to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance, piecing together clues from her emails, letters, and conversations with friends.

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What works well in the novel – the well-observed satire of Seattle’s upper crust, the moving portrayal of a troubled mother-daughter relationship – also works in the film. Blanchett and Nelson give strong performances, and director Richard Linklater captures the city’s quirks perfectly.

The movie is not without its flaws. Some subplots from the book are cut entirely, while others feel rushed or shoehorned in. And at two hours long, it feels a bit too long – trimming 20-30 minutes would have made it a tighter, more focused movie.

Overall, though, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is an enjoyable adaptation that will please fans of Maria Semple’s novel.

Rating

I would give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. It was entertaining and I laughed out loud a few times, but it wasn’t one of those movies that I would watch over and over again.

Recommendation

We recommend “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” as a heartwarming and humorous film that deals with complex family dynamics in a relatable way. The movie follows Bernadette Fox (played by Cate Blanchett), a once-successful architect who becomes a stay-at-home mom and begins to experience extreme agoraphobia. While her husband Elgin (played by Billy Crudup) and daughter Bee (played by Emma Nelson) try to understand her condition, Bernadette’s world grows smaller and smaller as she withdraws from society. However, when Bee confronts her about taking a long-awaited trip to Antarctica, Bernadette must overcome her fears and venture out into the world again.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Maria Semple, and it captures the book’s wit and humor while also adding its own visual flair. Blanchett give a brilliant performance as the neurotic but lovable Bernadette, and the rest of the cast is equally strong. The film also has some beautiful cinematography, particularly of Seattle where it is set.

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Overall, we enjoyed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” and we think it’s worth watching. It’s rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief language, and drug references.

Trailer

The trailer for the movie “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” has been released. The movie is based on the book by Maria Semple and stars Cate Blanchett as the titular character.

The trailer opens with Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) walking through a lush forest, intercut with shots of her being followed by a photographer. She is then seen sitting in front of a laptop, writing what seems to be a letter. The voiceover in the trailer is provided by her daughter, Bee (Emma Nelson), who is heard reading the letter aloud.

The trailer then cuts to various scenes from the movie, showing Bernadette’s life in Seattle with her family. We see her interactions with her husband, Elgie (Billy Crudup), and Bee, as well as her architect boss Audrey (Kristen Wiig). We also see Bernadette’s frustration at not being able to leave the house because of her agoraphobia.

The trailer culminates with Bernadette finally disappearing, andBee going on a search for her. The end of the trailer features Bee asking, “Where’d you go, Bernadette?”, to which we hear her mother’s voice respond, “I went on an adventure.”

The movie looks like it will be a heartwarming story about family and self-discovery, with plenty of humor thrown in. It is set to be released on August 16th.

10)Trivia

The film’s title is a play on the 1968 Jimi Hendrix songPurple Haze, which features the lyrics “Where’d you go?” In an interview, Linklater said that he had the rights to use a snippet of the song in the film, but decided against it.

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