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Cookie's Fortune

Where to Watch Cookie's Fortune

PG-13
1999

Cookie's Fortune, directed by esteemed filmmaker Robert Altman in 1999, presents a quirky, offbeat yet heartwarming drama set in the small southern town of Holly Springs. The movie has a star-studded cast headlined by Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, and Liv Tyler, who all help to weave a captivating narrative about family dynamics, eccentricities, and the underlying essence of human connection.

The plot delves nobly into the life of the beloved but eccentric matriarch of the Orr family, Jewel Mae Crowder, known to her close comrades and the township as 'Cookie.' Residing in a grand old house, initially built by her ancestors, Cookie (Patricia Neal) now spends her golden years in the company of her caretaker, Willis Richland (Charles S. Dutton), who is local to the town and considered part of the family in every sense except blood relation.

Glenn Close takes on the role of Camille Dixon, the elder niece of Cookie, who is a controlling and somewhat neurotic woman showcasing impeccable thespian talents. Her smoke-and-mirrors-life revolves around teaching a dramatic class in the local church and subtly exploiting her more gentle-hearted, mild-minded sister, Cora Duvall, portrayed magnificently by Julianne Moore.

Cora, who lives under the domineering shadow of her older sister, is made to believe she has no independence in decision-making. As such, she uncomplainingly abides by Camille's often irrational instructions and certainly feels the pressure of her overbearing influence.

The storyline takes an interesting turn with the arrival of Cora's rebellious, free-spirited daughter, Emma, played by Liv Tyler. Her untamed spirit and stubborn nature set the stage for conflict, sparking considerable commotion in Holly Springs. Emma represents a stark contrast to the otherwise complaisant folks of the town and challenges the traditional, conservative norms personified by Camille.

Willis, the only true companion Cookie has in her twilight years, becomes smack dab in the middle of a situation he never saw coming. His loyalty towards Cookie and his intrinsic personal morality bring him under scrutiny and his stoic resolve is tested by the oppressive, racially charged pressures of an insidious Southern society.

The nuanced performance of each character conforms to the eccentric backdrop of a sleepy southern town, marked by its own idiosyncrasies, traditions, and culturalettes. While the film does present distinctly comedic elements, it persistently maintains a lighthearted and engaging tone that subtly masks the underbelly of social prejudice, familial oppressions, and skewed local justice.

With its intricate plot and diverse characters, Cookie's Fortune beautifully encapsulates several themes, including shared human experience, the irony of societal conformity, the politics of power within family structures, and the struggle and triumph of individualism against collective dogma. True to the weaving storytelling style of Robert Altman, the movie creates a mixed bag of emotion that oscillates between joy, despair, innocence, suspicion, morality, prejudice, and redemption.

The film's cinematography, coupled with authentic southern charm, perfectly captures the essence of rural America. The careful selection of native backgrounds, local flavor, cultural nuances, and folkloric elements pays homage to the southern landscapes and lifestyle.

The film's musical score—bluesy, lighthearted, and, at times, melancholic—resonates seamlessly with the on-screen action and emotions of the characters, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Solidly founded on the sharp, witty, and layered script penned by Anne Rapp, Cookie's Fortune is beautifully paced and balanced. The narrative never falters, keeping up with the simmering tension, dramatic moments, and humor that weave into every narrative thread.

With its riveting performances, engaging narrative, and strong direction, the film offers a wealth of hidden treasures for those willing to peel back multiple layers. Cookie's Fortune cultivates a deep appreciation for Altman's cinematic brilliance, reminding viewers of his enduring legacy as a masterful storyteller. This film is a must-watch for cinephiles appreciating visually poetic and thought-provoking cinema, showcasing the powerful dynamics of family, friendship, and human spirit.

Cookie's Fortune is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 1999. It has a runtime of 118 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 70.

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Where can I stream Cookie's Fortune movie online? Cookie's Fortune is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Cookie's Fortune for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.8/10
70/100
Director
Robert Altman
Stars
Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler, Chris O'Donnell, Charles S. Dutton, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty, Courtney B. Vance, Donald Moffat, Lyle Lovett
Also starring Dmitrious Bistrevsky
Cookie's Fortune is available on .