With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
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
Robert Altman hired a local theater group to stage a scene from Oscar Wilde's "Salome". He then copied their staging for the rendition of that same scene in the film. See more »
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 »
[the police lab reports that Camille is a hemophiliac]
A condition under which, in times of extreme stress, her blood will not clot properly. Emma, Camille Dixon is your aunt, isn't she?
You ever seen her suffer from this condition?
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rather sweet; left me with a smile when I first saw it
One might call Cookie's Fortune a 'minor' effort from Robert Altman, a filmmaker who once commented that each film "is all part of the same picture", or rather one long movie with bits and pieces making up a career whole. But it has enough going for it through its very competent cast and interesting script to keep it afloat from being the kind of small film little old ladies might watch on TV during the day. In that sense it isn't as 'heavy' as some of Altman's other work. It is also cool enough to treat the subject of a mystery around a suicide with enough humanity to make some scenes smile-worthy. Considering some of the darker elements in the script, Altman depicts this to the point where- get this- Cookie's Fortune is sometimes shown on the HBO family channel!
Is it really a kid's film? I'm not sure, but it isn't work for only one age group- its appeal from its cast of a collective of small towners is appealing to most in the audience. That the cast- Glenn Close, Liv Tyler, (especially) Charles S. Dutton, even Chris O'Donnell- gels and plays some of the dialog sincerely even when its meant to not be taken seriously at all, is a credit to the filmmaker. That it also might not be quite as memorable as some of the director's major films is and is not a fault. It is a fault because the subject matter is sort of stuck in a certain genre realm. It is not because the subject mater is also very much more intelligent than would be expected at times. I was also fond of certain scenes and interactions with the actors, the rhythm of it all, like early on with Dutton and the actress Patricia Neal who plays the old lady. I also really like the climax.
So it's a good work about the rumblings and eccentricities of a small town, the good in people as well as the lesser parts, and parts of greed and death seen through a light that is not aiming for anything 'cheap', so to speak.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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