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Architect-turned-recluse Bernadette hates people, she hates leaving the house, and more than anything, she hates the other parents at her 15-year-old daughter Bee's school. When she disappears before a family trip to Antarctica, Bee becomes determined to find out where she has disappeared to and what really happened to her.
In January 2013, Annapurna Pictures and Color Force acquired the rights to the film adaptation of the novel, and set Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber to write the screenplay. Semple, Bryan Unkeless, and Ted Schipper executive produced. In February 2015, Richard Linklater was announced to direct the film, and in November 2015, Cate Blanchett was cast as Bernadette. In April 2016, It was announced that Holly Gent Palmo and Vince Palmo had taken over writing duties on the film, with Linklater also receiving credit.
Originally scheduled for release on May 11, 2018, the film was later pushed back to October 19, 2018. The date was again pushed to March 22, 2019, before once again moving to August 9, 2019, and then back one final time to August 16, 2019.
In the United States and Canada, Where'd You Go, Bernadette was released alongside Blinded by the Light, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, and Good Boys, and was projected to gross around $5 million from 2,404 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $1.2 million on its opening day, including $200,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $3.5 million, finishing in 11th.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 49% based on 166 reviews, with an average rating of 5.67/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette offers dispiriting proof that a talented director, bestselling source material, and terrific cast can add up to far less than the sum of their parts." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 3.5 out of 5 stars and a 60% "definite recommend."
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and wrote, "Filmed in a solid but straightforward style, populated by troubled characters who are aggressively off-putting, frustratingly passive and/or easily lampooned clichés, Where'd You Go, Bernadette is one of the most disappointing movies of 2019." In his 1/4 star review for The Globe and Mail, Barry Hertz said, "There is, buried deep somewhere in Linklater's film or however many edits it may have undergone - the thing reeks of indecision - an insightful, even invigorating story about what happens to a creative genius once they stop creating. But the actual work presents a good argument that, for some artists, it might be best to quit while you're ahead."