WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?
* * * ½
Cate Blanchett stars as an award-winning Seattle architect who walks away from her craft (for a reason we discover late in the movie) and turns into a manic-depressive, paranoid, people-hating mother and daughter. There is one person she does love and relate to, and that is her 15-year-old daughter, who narrates her story.
Bernadette has a long-running battle with her next-door neighbor (Kristin Wiig), which results in some serious property damage. She lives with her wealthy Microsoft executive husband in an old, rundown church that is a blight in the neighborhood. Her neighbors don't like her, and she outwardly shows her distaste for them. Bernadette has some serious problems with relationships, her medication, her anxiety, and her self-image. Her husband (Billy Crudup) has given up on her and brings in a psychiatrist for an intervention.
Meanwhile, the FBI has shown up at her door, accusing her of illegal dealings with the Russians. (how that all happened we'll leave you to discover).
Bernadette's life is one big mess, and it takes her former mentor to point out the problem: creative people must create!
Her husband cancels the family trip to the Antarctic, but if you've seen the trailers you know she ends up there, hence the title of the film. At this point, the story takes a big turn and finds its way to a resolution, which is a bit far-fetched but satisfying.
If you like movies that are a bit quirky and outside the usual formulas, you may like it as much as we did. While probably not an Oscar contender, it does keep you interested and rooting for this flawed woman who is trying to find her place in this world.
Rated PG, with minor profanity.