Director: Richard Linklater
Year Released: 2011
Assistant funeral director Bernie (Jack Black) becomes best pals with a super rich but horrifically mean widow (Shirley MacLaine, sure to come back as a bug), traveling with her, going to dinner with her and generally living it up ... before he snaps one day, shoots her and stuffs her in a freezer. Based on a true event, this has the unique (and quite fascinating) twist of the people of the town actually siding with Bernie in the case, brushing off the fact that he committed murder: in other words, this man was so super sweet and kind that if he killed the widow, she most certainly deserved it. I was a bit afraid Black's mincing routine was a bit much - too easy to make a 'closeted' killer - until I saw a video of the real Bernie Tiede, and Black's Bernie is actually a fairly respectful representation (real Bernie does like musical theater and show-tunes!). It isn't Linklater's most intricate project but it is a fun, curious little movie with "locals" (actually actors) adding priceless commentary.