4 June 2006 | Quinoa1984
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.