A comedic drama, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a delightful movie that manages to tackle powerful themes in a subtle manner. Richard Linklater balances the humor and emotions, and showcases Cate Blanchett as a fantastically peculiar character.
Richard Linklater’s latest feature film may not be his best work but it still performs well on many levels. An engaging narrative manages to secure one’s interest throughout the film and overcome issues that could’ve brought it down, had it not been handled in such a way. However, it is in fact the amazing Cate Blanchett that carries the movie from start to finish by portraying the eccentric yet totally lovable Bernadette. ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ revolves around the life of a former architect, Bernadette Fox, as she seeks to rediscover herself after years of facing a personal dilemma.
Linklater’s main approach to telling this adapted story is to maintain a comedic tone and have Bernadette deal with her issues with humor, and for the most part that works perfectly. That didn’t work too well with some other characters however. We slowly follow Bernadette and begin to understand how her past affected her current situation, and we are allowed to empathize with her. I personally thought that the structure could’ve been more organized and the editing more smooth yet what actually unfolds manages to get the job done. The pacing felt rather off towards the end, with a climax that was undoubtedly rushed.
What I really enjoyed about this movie is how it depicts the struggles of an artist who is isolated from her own creative passion, and how that takes a toll on her. It shows how the art and artist are very much one and how separating them apart could lead to adverse effects. Themes of family, motherhood and passion are highlighted pretty well and elevate the movie. Overall, it was quite a heartfelt journey with Bernadette that could’ve benefited from some adjustments yet most definitely does a good job despite that.