Anxiety is like a glacier. Its austere quietness stands apart from the crowd. But all around the edges lurks the threat of crumbling ice, waiting to sink into the abyss. Where'd You Go, Bernadette, based on Maria Semple's 2012 novel, delineates the slippery path of crippling anxiety to near perfection. Quirky humor coupled with Cate Blanchett's powerhouse performance combine to melt your heart into a thousand endearing bits. The film, directed by Richard Linklater, follows Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), a once hotshot Los Angeles architect, now intensive homebody with the singular pursuit of raising her daughter, Bee (Emma Nelson). Her eccentric tendencies, however, begin to put wear and tear on her marriage and family life. She doesn't go out much, and when she does, she refuses to engage with people in any meaningful way - as seen during the painfully awkward encounter at the library with a young architect fan. Bernadette practically runs away from that reminder of her past. It is seen in the small moments, too. She runs around her house, pulling up carpet, making eccentric designs out of paper and pencils, and narrating soliloquies to her virtual phone assistant. Her husband, Elgie (Billy Crudup), gradually becomes concerned about her behavior. But when Bernadette refuses to confront the issue, Elgie conducts an intervention to try to put her in the "loony bin," as Bernadette calls it. The plot here isn't heavy-handed drama, nor is it a slapstick comedy romp. It's not even as much of a mystery as the film's promotions suggest. But whether it's Oscar bait or an even-keel meditation, Blanchett always rises to the occasion. Her acting skills elevate any and every story above and beyond expectations. Here, she portrays Bernadette as a husk of a woman, with a palpable fragility in how she communicates. With the busy-body neighbor Audrey (Kristen Wiig), she employs a snarky passive-aggressiveness to keep her at a distance. When she meets up with an old colleague (Laurence Fishburne), the past he brings with him triggers one of her maniacally "wild rants," as her husband describes them. She deflects and denies to avoid going to those hard spaces to talk about. The film tonally missteps, however, with the insinuations of art and being an artist. Bernadette's colleague initiates the idea in their conversation that people like her must create. Then when Elgie and Bee go to track down Bernadette after she runs away, Elgie eventually realizes that since Bernadette is an artist, he's going to be around a lot more now for her and Bee. It's not merely tedious; it feels trite in an otherwise genuine story. The idea that creativity is a good outlet for anxiety is a legitimate one, and we can see it reflected in the reinvigorating journey that Bernadette undertakes to Antarctica. But it doesn't really need to be confirmed so dramatically by her husband. The relationship between Bernadette and her daughter is the wondrous alchemy of the film. Their connection is so sweet, precisely because it's clear that Bernadette struggles to overcome her anxiety in order to be the best mother she can. Yet her daughter beautifully accepts her no matter what. The car scene in particular summarizes their relationship. They are singing along to Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" (a clever leitmotif) when Bernadette begins crying. She tells Bee, "I just need you to know how hard it is for me sometimes." Her daughter is the only one she can be truthful with about her struggles. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a winning, uplifting tale that navigates the nooks and crannies of anxiety with heart and humor. Bernadette's journey is completely individual to her, but it also signifies the rabbit hole of anxiety and how one must desperately scramble out sometimes.