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
A pleasant surprise, to say the least! Cookie is a wonderful, rich work from Altman with great characters, performances, story, music and writing!
Cookie shoots herself. Glenn Close discovers the body and the suicide note. Being a theatrical director, she decides this will not do... She invents a scenario for how a burglar might have murdered her. What she didn't expect was for the police to find a suspect...
Everything just goes completely right in Cookie. The atmosphere really gels, the cast are cohesive, the plot situation is interesting and its subtextual implications on suicide is also fascinating. Its actually an Altman film you feel like delving into. The amateur production of Salome the community are putting on is one of his most interesting devices. It gets you thinking of rhythms that run through the film, of suicide and human existence.
Also, Glenn Close's being a theatrical director, and carrying those skills into everyday life, to fairly extreme measures in the film, is an interesting subtext - commenting on the director/author as God.
Altman's regular themes of the small town and the weather are here - the weather once again reminding us of a higher force we have no control over.
I thought it was a fascinating, enjoyable film. I laughed out loud many times - mainly at just fun little aspects of the characters. Which is why it was such a pleasant surprise that Cookie's Fortune was not only an enjoyable movie, its actually a really great one.
10/10. One of Altman's best, and my favourites so far.
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