Where’d You Go, Bernadette Blu-ray Review

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an inspiring comedy about Bernadette Fox, a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery. Ralph Potts reviews its Blu-ray release from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90

Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Dramedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristin Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, Emma Nelson, Steve Zahn, Megan Mullally
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Music by: Graham Reynolds
Written by:Richard Linklater, Holly Gent, Vince Palmo
Region Code: A

Release Date: November 26, 2019

“Disappearances Can Be Deceiving”

Synopsis:

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an inspiring comedy about Bernadette Fox, a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.” – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

My Take:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom. With Bee all set to head off to prep school next term, her wish, beforehand, is for a family vacation to Antarctica. Dad Elgie, is okay with it while Mom Bernadette, reluctantly agrees, despite her misgivings about being around too many people and the prospects of seasickness. Then Bernadette vanishes…

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is based on the novel of the same name by Maria Semple and, is a character study that features a narrative that examines the potential cost of stifled creativity, the power of mother-daughter bonds and the importance of finding common ground when all else fails. Co-written by director Richard Linklater Where’d You Go, Bernadette doesn’t quite fire on all cylinders in terms of its inspirational undertones and purposefully patchwork thematic elements but, it manages enough charm, empathy and levity to make for a relatable dramedy that is fueled by the strong chemistry between star Cate Blanchett and newcomer Emma Nelson.

I haven’t read the novel so I can’t attest to how faithful this adaptation is but, I had a good time with this story and, for the most part, its characters. There is a bit of unevenness to the narrative’s flow as it starts in one place, hovers there for too long and then quickly winds up making its way to the finish without excising all of the drama needed to build up a head of steam, given the context of the theme of rediscovery. Despite that, I found enough warmth, wry humor and substance to keep me engaged and entertained.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette may not be a wholly gratifying film experience but, it succeeds due to the total sum of its parts, which in my book makes it worth seeing.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some strong language and drug material.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Where’s You Go, Bernadette comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a solid looking high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail with sharp edges and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective during wide angle camera pans. Colors range from warm, vivid and inviting to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Blacks are rich and noticeably deep with a slight boost to contrast that is just enough to give the video a visually dynamic aesthetic without negatively impacting fidelity. Visible detail in low lit scenes/backgrounds is quite good, offering discernible depth of field. I didn’t see any obvious signs of video related artifacts as the video had a pristine and generally pleasing quality.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack did a nice job rendering the elements present in recording. Dialog was well articulated with clear tonal distinction. Dynamic range was good although rarely tested by the film’s elements. Low frequency detail wasn’t frequently applied however when present it sounded full bodied and robust. Rear channel activity was limited to a few discrete effects and ambient surround sound that bridged the front and rear sound stages. This film relies more on dialog and front sound field presence than it does on filling the room with sound effects and deep bass. I thought it worked well toward that end and sounded good.

Bonus Features:

  • Bringing Bernadette to Life – Featurette
  • Who is Bernadette – Featurette
  • Gallery
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel of the same name by Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an interesting and often entertaining character study that doesn’t reach quite as high as it aims to but, that doesn’t prevent it from striking a chord with the audience. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling supplement offering. Where’d You Go, Bernadette may not be a wholly gratifying film experience but, it succeeds due to the total sum of its parts, which in my book makes it worth seeing.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems