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Cookie's Fortune (1999)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  2 April 1999 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 10,403 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 111 user | 102 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Conflict arises in the small town of Holly Springs when an old woman's death causes a variety of reactions among family and friends.

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Title: Cookie's Fortune (1999)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Otis Tucker
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Jack Palmer
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Manny Hood
Danny Darst ...
Billy Cox
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Eddie 'The Expert' Pitts
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Patrick Freeman
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Wanda Carter
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Theo Johnson
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Storyline

Cookie's Fortune unfolds over an eventful Easter weekend in the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi. The town residents are peaceful, kind folk -- with the exception of Camille Dixon -- a pushy theatre director with an incredibly shy younger sister, Cora, whose estranged daughter Emma has just returned to town. On the heels of her latest play, Camille is shocked to discover that her Aunt Jewel Mae "Cookie" Orcutt has committed suicide. Terrified at the thought of how this will tarnish the family name, she eats the suicide note to make it look like a burglary. This set-up leads the police to one main suspect, Willis Richland, who also happens to be Cookie's best friend. Although the rest of the town is convinced Willis didn't commit the crime, an outside investigator isn't so sure. As Easter Sunday and opening night of the play arrive, the truth comes out, revealing more secrets than anyone could have possibly imagined. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to Holly Springs... home of murder, mayhem and catfish enchiladas.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for the depiction of a violent act, and for sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

2 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fortuna de Cookie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£61,465 (UK) (20 August 1999)

Gross:

$10,919,177 (USA) (24 September 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Altman felt that Liv Tyler had been too glamorous in previous films so he asked her to cut her hair short for for this movie. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene where the police car backs up and then pulls away, you can see the cameraman's shadow and then also his reflection on the side of the car. See more »

Quotes

Cora Duvall: Camille, Aunt Jewel shot herself.
Camille Dixon: We don't know that Aunt Jewel shot herself.
Cora Duvall: What do you mean?
Camille Dixon: All we know was that Aunt Jewel was shot, period.
Cora Duvall: But - but the gun was in her hand. She must have - must have -
Camille Dixon: Don't always go for the obvious, Cora. Just think!
Cora Duvall: What are you eating?
Camille Dixon: Nothin'. Now, you just listen to me, all right? Aunt Jewel did not commit suicide. Nobody in this family commits suicide. Suicide is a disgrace. Only crazy people commit suicide. So if that's what come - some robber, ...
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Connections

Referenced in Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mostly inoffensive with an awful last act.
8 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Cookie's Fortune is another ensemble character piece from Robert Altman, although it's of a lot less magnitude than some of his previous works. The story centers around a group of citizens in the quaint town of Holly Springs, who are thrown into disarray by the sudden death of Cookie Orcutt (Patricia Neal). Altman's scope is much more intimate than some of his other ensemble pieces, and it fits the characters nicely. The whole thing, accompanied by a nice blues score, has this quaint and relaxed atmosphere to it. This makes the film move by at a slower pace, but I never really felt like it dragged or anything, it just sort of coasted along.

There are several characters that we focus on, from Cookie's nieces Camille and Cora (Glenn Close and Julianne Moore) to her best friend Willis (Charles S. Dutton) to the police (Chris O'Donnell, Ned Beatty and a few others) to Cora's estranged daughter Emma (Liv Tyler), who has coincidentally just strolled back into town after being gone for a while. Cookie's death sends waves through the small community and turns everyone's situations upside down, resulting in comedic strides and a police investigation. When focusing on the individual characters, I definitely enjoyed myself most of the time, especially when it came to the erratic and revoltingly vain Camille (played with utter theatrical delight by Close) and the eternally laid-back Willis, but I don't think the script managed to bring the characters together in an entirely fluid manner.

This especially became a problem when the film was focused on Camille and Cora, who felt as though they were in an entirely different film. The majority of it had that bluesy, Southern atmosphere to it but then you get to the scenes with the two of them and it's like they're in a Tennesse Williams play. The characters are supposed to be a contrast to the rest of the ensemble, but the tones of their sections don't mesh at all with the rest of the film and it's quite distracting. The cast for the most part does a fine job, Close being the only one who impressed me on any major level, but Tyler and O'Donnell stick out like sore thumbs, the flattest pieces of wood in an otherwise quite alive ensemble.

I think my main problem with it though came from the final act, which is just a bizarre disaster. Out of nowhere the investigation starts turning up revelations of different familial bonds and lies from the past, but they truly come out of nowhere and ultimately add nothing to the film. It gets so confusing and incoherent in the final act, I don't have a clue what possessed writer Anne Rapp. It drags the film down considerably, but the rest of it was alright, if relatively insignificant.


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