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Movies

Critic’s Choice: ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ is well worth a closer look

Cate Blanchett in the movie "Where'd You Go, Bernadette."
(Wilson Webb/Annapurna Pictures )

Earlier this year, my Times colleague Kenneth Turan praised Richard Linklater’s “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” for “its focus on the power of a mother-daughter bond and what can befall creative people when they no longer create.” Not every critic shared his admiration, though I certainly did. Adapted from Maria Semple’s acclaimed novel, the movie (now available for home viewing) would merit a closer look if for no other reason than Cate Blanchett’s thrillingly mercurial performance in the title role.

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” tells the story of Blanchett’s Bernadette Fox, a brilliant, reclusive Seattle architect who is battling personal anxiety and professional inertia, to the sympathetic alarm of her husband (Billy Crudup) and teenage daughter (Emma Nelson). While it may not reach the directorial highs of Linklater’s “Boyhood” and the “Before … ” trilogy, it’s a barbed, involving and cumulatively moving portrait of a family taking care of itself and an artist getting her mojo back, played by an actor who has never lost hers.


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