Despite the ever-present fog, it’s summertime out there. And Richard Linklater’s latest film —Where’d You Go, Bernadette — could be called the cinematic equivalent of summer reading: amusing, breezy, loopy. But as Linklater’s light touch moves across Bernadette’s life — agoraphobic, we are told, and largely within her enormous and eccentric house — we see — are those pencils for that door trim? — that she’s been driven mad by 20 years in Seattle.
That, of course, is one of the many wry jests in Bernadette, which is based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel of the same name. Our hero, played by Cate Blanchett, is an architect with a dark Los Angeles past whose story is metered out slowly while the film has elaborate fun with Bernadette’s passions, all credit to the production-design crew. Any more would spoil the delicate balance the film achieves with mercurial plot points such as blackberry canes and the FBI. Suffice to say, it’s worth the watch.