Based in the popular novel by Maria Sample, Cate Blanchett plays Bernadette Fox, a Los Angeles award-winning architect who moved to Seattle with her husband Elgin (Billy Crudup) and daughter Bee (played by talented newcomer Emma Nelson).
Elgin works for Microsoft as an engineer and the move for his job is a bone of contention in their marriage. Bernadette complains constantly about Seattle, the people, the weather and the architecture.
She’s rude to her fans and her neighbor (Kristen Wiig) and to her very patient husband. The only person she has a close relationship with is her daughter, who seems to understand her mother’s strange behavior.
An upcoming family trip to Antarctica seems to be pushing Bernadette closer to a nervous breakdown. She has started to stash big amounts of prescription drugs and becoming lashing out at people trying to help her.
Blanchette is wonderful in the part, but the trouble I had with the film is that you could never understand the character. She had a wonderful family, possessed a great talent and led a privileged life, yet she was a very disagreeable woman.
I spent most of the film wanting to shake her. However, the ending although very contrived, promised some redemption.