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Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Where to Watch Bernice Bobs Her Hair

NR
1976

Bernice Bobs Her Hair is an intriguing cinematic narrative directed by Joan Micklin Silver and released in 1976. The film stars Shelley Duvall as the titular character, Bernice, alongside noteworthy performances from Veronica Cartwright and Bud Cort. The screenplay hinges on the intricacies of social norms and peer pressure, focusing on a young girl's transformation into the epitome of the Roaring Twenties' modern woman.

Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story of the same name, Bernice Bobs Her Hair uses the classic literary foundation to weave a compelling, character-driven narrative. Set in the high-bobbed hair era of the 1920s, the film captures the vibrant spirit and cultural shifts of the epoch, emphasizing the power of appearance and reputation.

Shelley Duvall, known for her unique charm and expressive performances, brings Bernice to life in a way that can only be described as both endearing and profoundly transformative. Bernice is characterized as an unsophisticated and socially awkward girl from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who visits her worldly and popular cousin Marjorie, played by Veronica Cartwright. The visit ensues when Marjorie's mother makes her invite Bernice over with the hope of helping her become more socially adept.

The contrast between the two girl's demeanors and personalities is the driving force behind much of the film's drama and humor. Marjorie is everything that Bernice is not: vivacious, admired, and effortlessly glamorous. But the challenged Bernice decides not to falter in the face of adversity and undergoes a complete makeover under Marjorie's reluctant mentorship. With a new bobbed hairstyle and a seemingly confident persona, Bernice becomes the toast of their social circle, overshadowing her cosmopolitan cousin, triggering an unforeseen chain of events that shape the rest of the narrative.

Bud Cort's character serves as the charming love interest, Warren, who finds himself attracted to both cousins, bringing about an additional element of romantic tension to the narrative. His initial affections lie with Marjorie, but as Bernice gains popularity and confidence, he finds himself pulled in the other direction.

Throughout the film, the director deftly captures the pull-push dynamic of the cousin's relationship. It is a beautiful representation of how the impact of social pressures, jealousy, and the pursuit of popularity can strain familial bonds and shape personas. The transformation of Bernice from a naïve, shy girl who was initially ridiculed by her peers into the belle of the ball is captivating and is an illustration of the quintessential women’s journey of self-definition and determination.

The cinematography of the film beautifully evokes the age of flappers and speakeasies, exhibiting glitzy dresses, vibrant jazz music, and opulent settings. This atmospheric authenticity strongly compliments the plot well, enhancing the audience's immersion into the time period. The film is equally expansive in presenting the social, cultural, and gender dynamics of the era.

In summary, Bernice Bobs Her Hair is a striking depiction of a young girl’s journey towards her newfound self and the trials it presents in her social and familial relations. The film showcases the extravagant and turbulent era of the 1920s with Shelley Duvall’s transformation performance at its heart, drawing out nuances of her character adeptly. This movie beautifully encapsulates themes such as the desire for approval, the power of manipulation, and the personal growth of a young woman in an era that was as lively as it was transformative. It's a must-watch for history enthusiasts, lovers of character-driven narratives, and those who appreciate nuanced period dramas.

Bernice Bobs Her Hair is a Comedy, Drama, Romance, TV Movie movie released in 1976. It has a runtime of 48 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7..

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6.7/10
Director
Joan Micklin Silver
Stars
Shelley Duvall, Veronica Cartwright
Also starring Shelley Duvall
Also starring Veronica Cartwright
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