Director: Richard Linkletter
Screenwriter: Richard Linklater, Skip Hollandsworth
In the small town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the most beloved and appreciated residents, so it came as no surprise when he befriended the town’s richest and meanest widow, Marjorie Nugent. Soon, Marjorie became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity as he struggled to meet her increasing demands. When the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie, the people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that she had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.
OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! This movie gets not one but two OMGs because 1. it is based on a true story and this definitely fits the saying 'the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction and 2. the casting for this movie was perfect. A third OMG for the script because so much of it was so hilarious and had me thinking, 1. did that person actually say that and 2. giggling with anticipation for what might be said next. My best memory for the latter was when one of the townspeople was describing the state of Texas as 5 separate states all together and I couldn't wait to hear how they described Austin and the surrounding areas (I am not going to give it away, you will have to see the movie for yourself.) Jack Black was awesome as Bernie. I thought he played the character extremely well and didn't overplay it to the point of being annoying. Matthew McConaughy as the DA, Danny Buck was also well cast because he really sounds like he belongs in the town of Carthage (could be that he is from East Texas I am sure.) Finally, Shirley MacLaine as the mean, rich, small town terror reminded me of a combination of several of her more famous roles such as Tess Carlisle in Guarding Tess, Doris Mann in Postcards from the Edge, Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias and finally Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment.
Only two more days worth of recaps from SXSW then on to other items on my list!