Cate Blanchett’s new movie Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a whimsical exploration of motherhood and the importance of second acts.
Based on the popular 2012 book of the same name by Maria Semple, director Richard Linklater’s film draws the audience into the closeted world of architect-turned-recluse Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett).
Bernadette lives inside a beautiful yet crumbling mansion, perched atop a hill in Seattle, which used to be a schoolhouse. It now appears to be a home forever stuck between renovation and completion.
Watch the trailer for Where’d You Go, Bernadette below. Post continues after video.
Within the walls of her rambling, quirky house, Bernadette is happiest when in the presence of her 15-year-old daughter Bee (Emma Nelson) but has developed a fear of the outside, much to her husband Elgin’s (Billy Crudup) concern.
She has little time or interest in the other parents at Bee’s school, often referring to them as “gnats”, and instead opts to spend the majority of her day furiously communicating over voice message and email with Manjula, her so-called personal assistant, who she has never met.
Although Bee is the most understanding of her mother’s quirks and condition, it’s her dream to travel to Antarctica and after receiving excellent school marks, she finally convinces her reluctant mother to take the whole family on a trip.
However, after an altercation with her pushy next-door neighbor Audrey Griffin (Kristen Wiig) that causes half of Bernadette’s unkept garden to collapse onto Audrey’s house, and her husband stages an intervention, Bernadette disappears without a trace.
The movie then follows Bee’s journey to track down her missing mother, learning in the process about a side of Bernadette’s life that had been kept hidden from her. That once upon a time Bernadette was a rising star of the Los Angeles architecture scene, a pioneer of the holistic “green building movement” and won awards for creating a famous structure called the 20-Mile House, before locking herself away from the world.