Bernie is based on the murder of Marjorie “Marge” Nugent by her companion Bernie Tiede. It is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLane, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux, Rick Dial, Brandon Smith, Larry Jack Dotson, Merrilee McCommas, Mathew Greer, Gabriel Luna, and several real citizens of Carthage, Texas where the murder took place.
The movie presents itself as a quasi documentary using interviews with the town (some real and others played by actors) in between the acting. It shows how Mrs. Nugent, a wealthy widow who takes a liking to local Assistant Local Funeral Director Bernie Tiede. They become inseparable, with her giving him power of attorney and naming him in her will. However, as she showers him with gifts, she begins to tighten her grip on his life, almost psychologically torturing him. It soon ends with a terrifying climax with half a town siding with a killer instead of the victim.
I saw the film and it really captured small town Texas without making fun of it. The family of Mrs. Nugent took issue with portraying Tiede as a victim who just snapped. I understand that many in the town were split over the film. Some loved it and others hated. Bernie was given life without parole as a result of the trial.
After the film came out, Tiede was granted a new trial in light of some claims in the film. In April 2016, Bernie Tiede was sentenced to 99 years or life by another jury.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Just a note to always remember: Too much color does not make one look more alive.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence and Language