Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an alluring drama for any mystery lover

After winning a prestigious Academy Award in 2005, Cate Blanchett has become one of the most beloved, well-known actresses in the film industry. Her ability to portray copious traits and emotions through the screen far outdoes that of many up-and-coming actors.

After seeing her face hidden behind a pair of deep, dark sunglasses on the cover of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I knew that I simply could not allow myself to miss out on the opportunity to witness Blanchett’s true talent once again. 

Directed by Richard Linklater and based on the hit novel by Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette tells the story of a family and woman hanging over the edge of sanity. Bernadette Fox, a famous architect, lives alongside husband and Microsoft engineer Elgie Branch (Billy Crudup) and their teenage daughter, Bee (Emma Nelson). After leaving behind her fame for a more secluded, average family lifestyle, Bernadette begins to find herself in a battle against her own mind. Insomnia, anxiety, and flashbacks haunt Bernadette and quickly begin to take a dramatic toll on her family’s well-being. 

As each scene passes by, you are sure to fall deeper into the mystery of the life of a woman in search of who she truly desires to be. ”

Brought about by a request for an adventurous trip to Antarctica by daughter Bee, Bernadette cannot help but become obsessed with life’s small, unimportant details. As her husband takes notice of her strange behavior, concerns arise about her mental health and sanity as a whole. 

Throughout the film, Bernadette’s character rides upon a rollercoaster of emotions. Blanchett was faced with the task of accurately representing emotions ranging from anger and confusion to euphoria and rediscovery, and she was able to portray each with obvious ease. Her sharp cheekbones and rigid eyes are the perfect fit for her strict and matter-of-fact personality that you cannot help but become fully immersed in. 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette certainly has a plot that does not lack in any area. Although it is always able to keep audience members on their toes and unaware of what the next scene may entail, it can be hard to follow at times. The film crams an entire novel of twists and turns into just 109 mere minutes; it certainly could use a few more scenes to better cover elements of the film that suddenly seem to turn into second thoughts by the director. 

As the film progresses, not only are many aspects of mystery and drama revealed throughout the character’s interactions, but the lines, setting, and mannerisms making up the film come together to create humorous, eerie, and even tear-jerking scenes that allow the messages lying beneath the film to become fully known to the audience. 

After recently binging season two of HBO’s Big Little Lies, the similarities within the film and the show are impossible to not recognize. The heartache, mental battles, and coming-of-age moments seem to happen in true parallels to each other; anyone who loves Big Little Lies will certainly find themselves tangled within the drama of Linklater’s mysterious, emotional new film. 

Although some elements of Sempler’s novel may have become second thoughts and simply supporting details within the tale of Bernadette Fox told on the screen, the movie does not fall short in terms of excellent characterization and emotion.

As each scene passes by, you are sure to fall deeper into the mystery of the life of a woman in search of who she truly desires to be.