Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cookie's Fortune (1999)

Synopsis: Old lady croaks, ROC goes to jail, and Glenn Close plays yet another unlikeable bitch.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Welcome to Holly Springs... home of murder, mayhem and catfish enchiladas.”

What Did I Learn?: If you wish to look like a pompous idiot, add some additional dialogue to an Oscar Wilde production and then give yourself a writing credit on the stage bill.

You Might Like This Movie If: All you had to read was the word “Cookie”.

Really?: 1) Ok, I could maybe see Camille (Close) covering up Cookie’s suicide to spare the family some embarrassment, but I had a hard time believing she would continue the charade after the police hold Willis (Charles Dutton) for questioning. And Cora (Julianne Moore) just goes along with it all, even after an innocent man is in the slammer? 2) So wait – Emma (Liv Tyler) learns that Camille, not Cora, is her real mother, and she has nothing to say to either woman? Sorry, but I think Robert Altman owes us a scene or two.

Rating: Cookie’s Fortune is one of Robert Altman’s better films. The plot is In the Heat of the Night turned on its head: an elderly Southern white lady is mistakenly thought to have been murdered, and nobody really believes her black, long-time platonic friend did it, including the sympathetic cops, who hold him quite reluctantly. That said, the plot is really just a device to introduce a collection of strange, and sometimes-funny characters who come to life through some inspired performances. Cookie’s Fortune is a nice little movie. 8.5/10 stars.

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