In spite of her circumstances, she throws so much love and innocence at the world and at Romeo, and she gets so tragically punished for it. Amelia agrees. The language and poetry are also really fun to work with as an actor But the hours of hard work pays off in the end. Luckily, rehearsals are also a lot of fun. There is a murder mystery, a suicide, a bit of gore, a dash of sex, some racial consciousness and Glenn Close, whose character might be a second cousin to Blanche DuBois.
But these elements of dark and twisted madness aren't all that removed from the cheerful eccentricity that is a trademark of fictional smalltown America. CHICKEN in its representation of bucolic life; there is a cheerful silliness to the characters, but tragedy darkens the edges just a tad. No one would ever accuse Altman of being the sentimental type. His screen career has consisted largely of taking pot shots at the American landscape, aiming to reveal hypocrisy behind everything from patriotism to idealism, with his preferred vehicle of deconstruction being the conventions of various movie genres.
He has taken a wrecking ball to everything from the backstage musical to film noir to westerns to sci-fi.
Yet he approaches the Capraesque vision of smalltown American with a gentle good humor, refraining from indulging in either parody or satire. I'm an admirer of Altman's films, but I have to admit that I am hard pressed to think of any other instance where I felt actual affection for any of his characters. Alas, Altman's visit to Holly Springs is no doubt a side trip in the director's journey from one "important" film to the next. A chance to stretch his legs a bit before getting back to the serious business of showing how corrupt the world is.
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That's a shame, because Holly Springs is a right nice little place to visit. 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.
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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.
One of Altman's best, and my favourites so far. Quinoa 4 June 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. 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.
So when I got the chance to see this movie with the interesting title "Cookie's Fortune", I gave it a try. I thought that this would be a comedy about a Chinese restaurant or something The only thing that I knew before taping it, was that it was a comedy from Robert Altman, that's where my confusion comes from. It had nothing to do with what I thought, but I liked it nevertheless All the residents are peaceful, kind folk, except for her niece Camille Dixon.
Cookie is a widow for several years now, but she isn't alone. Willis Richland does all her shopping and helps her wherever he can. But she is tired of living without her husband and she wants to die. She commits suicide, but when the irritating and pushy Camille discovers what her aunt has done, she decides to cover up the real story, convinced that this will have a bad influence on the good family name.
Together with her shy younger sister Cora, whose estranged daughter Emma as just returned to town, she tries to make it all look like a robbery and murder. To do so, she eats the suicide note, hides the gun in the bushes and shatters some windows. The police is convinced that the murder story is true and they start looking for a suspect, Willis.
Although the rest of the town is convinced Willis didn't commit the crime, an outside investigator isn't so sure. But as the truth comes out, more secrets are revealed than everybody thought existed in this quiet town I guess it's the combination of the rather naive looking people in the town, the nice story and the fine acting that makes this movie work. Dutton who was the most surprising of them all. Overall, this may not be the most original movie, but it is a nice comedy and I had some good laughs with it.
Sure, it is a bit stereotypical, but that's not bad. It's a comedy and well-used stereotypes are always funny to watch. Add to this some fine acting and a nice story and what you get is a comedy that certainly deserves to be seen. I'll fess up, Altman ranks high with me and has for a long time. This is far from his best work -- but also far, far above your average bear, er, rather It has much to recommend; many fine performances, a complex storyline; it will request a little patience from you -- be so kind as to grant it.
Patience lies at the heart of this film; not the high-jinks and rapid-fire action of most movies. Kindness gets lost, and many deeper human qualities, too -- when people or a culture push patience out of the way. Altman seems to know this, to celebrate patient people, sensible people. But there are plenty of good jokes, visual, verbal, plot-involved. Relax and laugh, let things develop. You might even laugh pretty hard -- and happily.
I suppose this film could be called Capra-esque, and thus old-fashioned, even nostalgic -- not a good fit with the tumult of violence and dishonesty which characterized the media's portrayal of the nineties. Too bad. Rent the video; or buy the video and watch it with your kids and later with the grandkids.
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People complain about too much violence in the cinema and then ignore a film like this -- and many of these people are critics! Here's the full panoply of human life, young, middle-aged, and elderly, all interesting, all central to the story. What a fine thing! Enjoyably light film with only a few moments of misjudged seriousness and humour bob the moo 20 July In the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi, the highly strung Camille is leading rehearsals for a performance of Salome.
When she drops in on her Aunt Cookie whom she has a frosty relationship with she finds that Cookie has taken her own life in order to be with her late husband again. Unwilling to have her family name tarnished by this shameful act, Camille takes a necklace and moves things around to suggest a murder. Things get more complicated when Cookie's caretaker and loyal friend is arrested for the murder and the investigation begins in earnest. I wasn't sure what this film was about when I took up to watch it but was wary as often I have found Altman films to be too sprawling for my tastes and have struggled to get into them.
This film started well and light and pretty much managed to retain that feeling for the duration, making it enjoyable to watch. In terms of plot, the central action is strong enough to hold the focus, although really the film is more about the characters than anything else. This is good as I felt the film's strength was the cast and the characters.
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The film's humour is good as it matches the light tone it sets itself. At times though the humour is misjudged, for the most part it is natural and charming but there are times when the film forces jokes for example semi-pratfalls etc and they don't fit the mood. Likewise the drama occasionally goes a little too heavy the ending for example but these are minor compared to the effect of the whole. Having said that, it may annoy those who expect more of a firm plot. The rich ensemble cast makes it worth watching alone.
Dutton stands out in the lead role, he is as relaxed and as affable as they come which was needed to carry that role. On the total other side is a well pitched Close, her character needed to be realistic i. Tyler does ok but I found it a little hard to accept her casting at first, O'Donnell appears to have little to do but does well to play a fool without thinking of his career too much.
Moore is good in support and Neal's pitching of Cookie's past and personality in only a few scenes enables us to feel for her and thus prevent her dark act from taking away from the light touch too much. Beatty has some great lines and Vance steals many of his scenes with a comic touch. Overall this film is very slight and may not appeal to all for that reason.