Well over a year ago, I saw Shirley MacLaine in a short interview for the online edition of The Los Angeles Times. The Oscar-winning Hollywood legend was asked about her role in a dark comedy making the film festival circuit. She played the murder victim in Bernie, based on an actual murder case that happened in smalltown East Texas in the late 1990s. MacLaine graciously put the attention on her co-star, comic actor Jack Black, and hailed his dramatic turn as the gentle Christian-turned-killer, Bernie Tiede. The film played in arthouse movie theaters over the summer. It's now on DVD. I totally agree with Shirley MacLaine. As Bernie, Jack Black gives one of the best and most memorable performances I've seen an actor give in a lead role this year. He brings such life, conflict and humanity to his role as the sad assistant funeral director who befriends the meanest and richest widow in town. He breaks your heart. He makes you laugh. He surprises you with his acting depth. We have School of Rock director, Richard Linklater, to thank for this Jack Black gift of a performance. They both delivered something special.