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Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Cate Blanchette is Bernadette, once a MacArthur Genius Grant winner for her work in architecture, is now a mom who seems trapped in her house by her own anxieties. Her husband, Elgie, is a star engineer for Microsoft. She and her daughter, Buzz, are very close; however, Bernadette appears to have no other stable or healthy relationships, and Elgie is growing more concerned about her mental stability. This film is somewhat of a mess. Cate Blanchette is great, as always, and she manages to make the most of her very limited material here. But Richard Linklater, whose films I typically really like, seems to have misstepped in this one. The story of a woman who is having problems with anxiety should and could be very rich; however, this story is very shallow and wanders around to a rather ridiculous conclusion. The film seems to be written to wrench tears rather than tell a really compelling story.  This film gets a thumbs down from me and is saved only by Blanchette’s consistently strong acting. (2019; 2 Stars).

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