Bernie's need for alcohol leads him to neglect his crippled daughter Winnie. Although evidence of adverse effects of excessive alcohol use come to light, for example when Bernie cannot recall a bout of heavy drinking despite a reminder by the train conductor (0:16), he generally appears very healthy throughout the film, reminiscent of Leaving Las Vegas.
Numerous scenes portray heavy drinking throughout the film. Several scenes depict dysfunction attributable to intoxication, but with scant evidence of slurred speech:
Bernie falls out of his chair. (1:13)
Bernie appears nauseated then ataxic. (1:19)
Bernie cries then appears ataxic again. (1:21)
Bernie, ataxic once more, falls to the ground. It is not clear whether he has passed out or suffered a head injury. (1:22)