Watch Bernard and Doris
- 1 hr 43 min
Bernard and Doris is a biographical drama film that explores the unlikely friendship between tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her butler, Bernard Lafferty. The film was directed by Bob Balaban and released in 2006. It stars Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon as Doris Duke, and Academy Award nominated actor Ralph Fiennes as Bernard Lafferty. The movie opens with the sudden death of Duke's butler, Eduardo. This leaves her with a large estate to manage alone and no one to confide in. Bernard, an Irish working-class man with a troubled past, is hired as a replacement. Duke quickly takes a liking to Bernard's frankness and wit, and they form an unlikely bond. Doris Duke is introduced as a wealthy, reclusive woman who lives alone in her mansion. Duke's wealth has left her with few real friends, and she seems to spend most of her time drinking and smoking. Bernard, on the other hand, is a recovering drug addict who has been in and out of prison. His background of poverty and addiction is in stark contrast to Duke's privileged upbringing. As the movie progresses, Duke's relationship with Bernard deepens. She begins to rely on him for more than just his butler duties. Bernard becomes her confidant and advisor, and he works tirelessly to manage her estate. The two spend more and more time together, and Bernard becomes Duke's closest companion. The film delves into the personal lives of both Duke and Bernard. It is revealed that Duke never had any children and her only marriage was to a gay man, who committed suicide. Bernard has his own demons to wrestle with, including his addiction and the death of his partner. The movie highlights some of the real-life controversies that surrounded Doris Duke. She was known for her eccentric behavior and sometimes erratic decision-making. The film portrays her as a woman who is both endearing and flawed. Bernard, meanwhile, is portrayed as a loyal employee who is willing to stand up to Duke when necessary. The chemistry between Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes is one of the film's strong points. Their performances are nuanced and add depth to the story. Sarandon portrays Duke as a complex woman who is vulnerable despite her wealth. Fiennes gives a nuanced performance as Bernard that captures both his wit and his struggles. The cinematography and set design are also well-done. The movie is shot in a way that highlights the contrast between Duke's lavish lifestyle and Bernard's humble background. The sets are elegant and spare, which serves to emphasize the loneliness of Duke's life. Overall, Bernard and Doris is a touching portrayal of an unlikely friendship. It explores themes of class, addiction, and the complexities of human relationships. The film provides a window into the life of one of America's wealthiest women and the unlikely bond she formed with her butler. The touching performances by Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes make this a must-see film for fans of biographical dramas.