With daughter Bee (Emma Nelson) almost grown and husband Elgie (Billy Crudup) making a name for himself in the artistic world, it’s time for lapsed architectural whiz kid Bernadette (Cate Blanchett) to shut down the sacrificing (along with the 24 hour pharmacy inside her medicine cabinet) and put her artistic vision back to work. O film, how do I dislike thee? Let me count the ways. The child is wiser than both parents,; all you need to know about our reclusive lead’s backstory is conveniently contained in a YouTube celebrity documentary (enjoy the crudely photoshopped heads); and most damning of all, we are treated to that distasteful chick-flick staple: the impromptu mother and daughter singalong. If Julianne Moore is indie cinema’s top pick for dying divas, Blanchett gets first dibs on the nutsos. Bernadette grates greatly, but even her blustery performance isn’t enough to carry the script. (Director Richard Linklater shares co-author credit.) This might have worked my better had they played it as a screwball comedy. (2019) — Scott Marks
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