I’ll keep this one brief, because I really don’t know if I can explain this movie very well.
It was actually sort of fascinating in a completely awful way. I’ve never lived in the South, but I have enough relatives that do that I know people who at least know people who behave like the people in the film. Which is to say that while yes, it seems ridiculous, and no, not everyone in the South is like that (most geographic locations get bad reputations in one way or another in film and whatnot, which are not always fair) sometimes they really sort of are.
Which is why Bernie was actually sort of terrifying.
That this was a real story, adapted by Richard Linklater and Skip Hollandson, based on an actual newspaper article that Skip Hollandson wrote about a real thing that happened. A lot of the people who appeared in the film (it was 1/2 a documentary of sorts) were just real people who knew the people in the story, and they were just talking like they talked about what they thought. Some of which was horrific, yes, but that’s the thing. Some movies claim to be based on a true story, and are only loose adaptations; this movie was presumably fairly true. These people were just being who they were.
Taking the story into account, which is for all intents and purposes about normal people who do one horrible thing, or who behave consistently horribly, or believe fairly horrible things, the fact that it’s true is kind of freaky.
But Richard Linklater makes good films. Jack Black annoys me at least 50% of the time, but he does pretty well under Linklater’s direction. Matthew McConaughey is a really good sleazebag. Shirley Maclaine was donwright unnerving. Well done, telling this creepy-ass story that made me just shake my head.
–your fangirl heroine.